The History of Public Library Access for African Americans in the South: Or, Leaving Behind the Plow


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And this is what the essence of non-violence means. All of the 3, school children were exposed to an uniform curriculum that included reports on the negotiations with the Boston School Committee; the singing of Freedom Songs; and lectures by community leaders and college professors on the civil rights struggle across the country and in Boston, nonviolent direct action, civic and educational responsibilities, governmental processes, Negro History, and African History. He took care to address the negative media accounts of the negotiations.

Community History

But, we were not quibbling about a word, we were quibbling about a philosophy. Equally as important as the details about the negotiations, was the focus on the civil rights activism in the South and the concept of non-violence. Boston University student Julian Houston not only led the students in the Freedom songs, he also explained their origins.

When Alan Gartner shared his experience in the sit-ins in the South, he told the children. While the discussion on the meaning and practice of non-violence evoked a momentous response, Dr. Of course, many of the youth had not been exposed to African American or African History. Hill explained,. Surely, Hill dispelled many of the stereotypes of Africa and African Americans. It was apparent that the children were quite receptive to learning about their heritage.

It is not unfathomable to speculate that in the next several years some of these children would be among the Black youth who demanded Black History in the high schools and universities. The Freedom School day ended with a call to action. Peggy Trotter Dammond shared a letter that she had received from a young activist that she met during the Albany movement in Southwest Georgia the previous summer. Because every time he intends to go back they put him back a grade. Without an education, I might as well be dead. It was perhaps the first time that Black youngsters in Boston had an opportunity to personally identify with a peer who showed such commitment to the cause of racial justice.

Throughout the one-day Freedom School the youth were exposed to a set of new ideas of about citizenship, a sense of their own efficacy and identity, and a new way to view their education. Thus, it was not surprising that by the end of the day they expressed an overwhelmingly positive response to the request for student volunteers to work on St.

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Predictably, School Committee members unvaryingly declared the Stay Out a failure, reiterating their previous claims of its unlawfulness and violence. It was certainly a victory for the parents and Stay Out leaders. Stay-Out leaders and other activists presented a broader context for assessing the mass action.

Noel Day framed the Stay Out campaign successful to the extent it provided a structure for thousands of students and their parents to engage in mass action, putting into practice the idea of being politically active.


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Here, we had children. At the same time, various mobilizations were organized by different community groups. While the sit-in was not a mass direct action, the protestors, nonetheless, risked arrest. By doing so, they clearly demonstrated the degree to which they had claimed civil disobedience as a viable civil rights tactic since June Stay Out. During its regularly scheduled meeting on Friday, September 6th, the School Committee voted to have the police remove the NAACP Sit-In demonstrators who were still protesting elsewhere in the building.

The demonstrators vowed to remain; however, later in the evening all persons were evacuated from the building due to an alleged bomb scare. In a stunning rebuke to the Black community, all five School Committee scored a city-wide resounding win, with Hicks capturing seven out of ten votes. However, in an ironic twist, Alabama Governor George Wallace unwittingly disrupted the triumph.

Hicks may now feel justified in refusing to discuss school conditions with any group of voters, white of black.

Civil rights movement

Certainly, the Black community suffered a setback as a result of the continued recalcitrant behavior of the Boston School Committee, buttressed by their victory in the November 5, election and the defeat of Mel King. However, the set-back turned out to be short-lived. As the New Year began what apathy existed in the Black community rapidly dissipated. The legacy of the first Stay Out for Freedom Campaign should be viewed within the context of local and national factors. The Citizens for Human Rights led the way in organizing thousands of Black people to engage in mass action in defiance of the influence and power of the Boston School Committee and a segment of the Black elite.

The aim of the Citizens for Human Rights group was to build a non-violent direct action movement in Boston and the Stay Out for Freedom was an important step. However, the Stay Out leadership understood that it was necessarily a long-term endeavor and they directed their efforts on methods to radicalize the youth to become agents for social change. In addition to expanded Freedom Schools, organizers sought to engage the youth in political work such as voter registration and education.

This work is more difficult to measure and is certainly outside the parameters of this essay. An examination of the second Stay Out and the ongoing Freedom Schools might provide evidence to support such claims. Reverend Breeden and other activists from across the country met in New York to develop a plan for a coordinated school boycott. The meteoric rise of the School Boycott concept was not unanimously sanctioned by the civil rights establishment.

A few civil rights leaders equivocated or opposed the idea. After first rejecting the idea, Wilkins was pressured by other civil rights activists to reverse his stand.


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Boston activists, in the Deep North, were making major strides in effectively exposing the contradiction and expanding the narrative. For far too long, the North had exorcised itself from its own systems of racial discrimination and hierarchy; often while providing moral and financial support for the civil rights struggle in the South. Moreover, the Stay Out campaign became a harbinger of the heightened militancy that was to unfold among people of African descent in Boston during this period.

Charles E. Carter , a devoted advocate for the preservation of the history of people of African descent. Jacobs, ed. Also, for an account of the activism leading to the legal challenge to school segregation in antebellum Boston Roberts vs. Theoharis and Komozi Woodard. Jeanne F. For welfare rights activism in Boston, see Audrea F. First published by Dial Press in John F. Washington Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Day also published a shorter version of this paper. Barnett and James A. The story of the long struggle of African Americans to attain civil rights, particularly in the South, is well documented. The story of the public library movement in America is also well documented. However, the story of the African American struggle for access to public libraries in the South is not as well documented, with much of what has been written previously told in piecemeal fashion in short studies or confined to a particular southern state.

Even some of the most marginal lands were put back into production. An auto parked in front of a sand drift. The same auto parked in the same location, after Soil Conservation Service workers have returned the dunes to grassland. The soil is now able to sustain a healthy mix of grasses and other crops. October Then, in the early s, the wet cycle ended and a two-year drought replaced it. The storms picked up once more. Bad as the "Filthy Fifties" were, the drought didn't last as long as the "Dirty Thirties. And because nearly four million acres of land had been purchased by the government during the Dust Bowl and permanently restored as national grasslands, the soil didn't blow as much.

At least a few lessons had been learned. But now, instead of looking to the skies for rain, many farmers began looking beneath the soil, where they believed a more reliable — and irresistible -- supply of water could be found: the vast Ogallala aquifer, a huge underground reservoir stretching from Nebraska to north Texas, filled with water that had seeped down for centuries after the last Ice Age.

With new technology and cheap power from recent natural gas discoveries in the southern Plains, farmers could pump the ancient water up, irrigate their land, and grow other crops like feed corn for cattle and pigs, which requires even more moisture than wheat. Writer Timothy Egan calls the Dust Bowl "a classic tale of human beings pushing too hard against nature, and nature pushing back. We want it now — and if it makes money now it's a good idea. But if the things we're doing are going to mess up the future it wasn't a good idea. Don't deal on the moment.

King County, Allows African Americans To Record in All Public Places, Except Their Public Libraries?

Take the long-term look at things. It's important that we do the right thing by the soil and the climate. History, is of value only if you learn from it.

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The History of Public Library Access for African Americans in the South: Or, Leaving Behind the Plow The History of Public Library Access for African Americans in the South: Or, Leaving Behind the Plow
The History of Public Library Access for African Americans in the South: Or, Leaving Behind the Plow The History of Public Library Access for African Americans in the South: Or, Leaving Behind the Plow
The History of Public Library Access for African Americans in the South: Or, Leaving Behind the Plow The History of Public Library Access for African Americans in the South: Or, Leaving Behind the Plow
The History of Public Library Access for African Americans in the South: Or, Leaving Behind the Plow The History of Public Library Access for African Americans in the South: Or, Leaving Behind the Plow
The History of Public Library Access for African Americans in the South: Or, Leaving Behind the Plow The History of Public Library Access for African Americans in the South: Or, Leaving Behind the Plow
The History of Public Library Access for African Americans in the South: Or, Leaving Behind the Plow The History of Public Library Access for African Americans in the South: Or, Leaving Behind the Plow
The History of Public Library Access for African Americans in the South: Or, Leaving Behind the Plow The History of Public Library Access for African Americans in the South: Or, Leaving Behind the Plow

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