Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Tougaloo Nine and the Sit-in at the Jackson Mississippi Municipal Library

On March 27, 1961, nine African American students from Tougaloo College were arrested for their attempt to integrate the Jackson, Mississippi Municipal Library by having a sit-in:

Joseph Jackson, Jr.
Geraldine Edwards
James Bradford
Evelyn Pierce
Albert Lassiter
Ethel Sawyer
Meredith Anding
Janice Jackson
Alfred Cook

These students became known as the “Tougaloo Nine.” The following year, four other African American students attempted to integrate the library by organizing a sit-in. They unlike their predecessors were not arrested. Eventually the Jackson, Mississippi Municipal Library was integrated. It is now known as the Jackson-Hinds Library System.

Update 12/08/2012:

See related post: George Washington Carver Library (Jackson, Mississippi) and Its Role in the Tougaloo Nine Sit-in.

Update 12/09/2012:

Click on the link below to view a YouTube video of a program given in honor of the Tougaloo Nine by the Fannie Lou Hamer Symposium:

Sources: Lasseter, Cheryl. "Members of Tougaloo Nine Look Back at Historic Day." (Channel 3 - Jackson, Mississippi). WorldNow, 14 Oct. 2006. Web. 12 Nov. 2011. ; McBride, Earnest. "Hamer Forum Pays Tribute to Tougaloo 9." Jackson Jackson Advocate (Jackson, Miss.), 13 Oct. 2011. Web. 12 Nov. 2011. ; "Tougaloo Nine Honored." Mississippi History Newsletter (Oct. 2011): 1. Print. ; "4 Young Negroes Integrate Mississippi Library." Jet 22.15 (1962): 24. Print. ; Cutter, Jamie Irene. Getting by at the Benjamin Mays Black Branch: Library Access for African Americans in Jim Crow South Carolina, 1940-1971. MLIS thesis. San Jose State University, 2011. 56, 120. Pdf. 

Update 12/11/2012:

Twenty-two years earlier, five African American men were arrested for their attempt to receive service at the Barrett Branch of the Alexandria Public Library in Alexandria, Virginia:

Robert Robinson of the Alexandria Public Library (Alexandria, VA) and the 1939 Sit-Down Strike
Update 2/28/2013:

The library sit-in by the "Tougaloo Nine" is briefly mentioned in the following article:

Cook, Karen. “Struggles Within: Lura G. Currier, the Mississippi Library Commission, and Library Services to African Americans.” Information & Culture 48.1 (2013): 136-137.Print.

Update 11/03/2014:

 Some attempts by African Americans to integrate segregated libraries were met with violence. For example, on September 15, 1963, two African American ministers were attacked by a mob when they tried to enter the Anniston Public Library in Anniston, Alabama:

Integration and the Anniston Public Library, Anniston, Alabama

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