The Desegregation of Public Libraries in the Jim Crow South: Civil Rights and Local Activism.

PositionBrief article - Book review

Wiegand, Wayne A. and Shirley A. Wiegand. The Desegregation of Public Libraries in the Jim Crow South: Civil Rights and Local Activism. Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 2018, pp.280, ISBN: 080716867X.

This work tells the story of the integration of southern public libraries. As in other efforts to integrate civic institutions in the 1950s and 1960s, the determination of local activists won the battle against segregation in libraries. And in particular, the willingness of young Black community members to take part in organized protests and direct actions ensured that local libraries would become genuinely free to all citizens. Thus, the book traces the struggle for equal access to the years before the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision, when Black activists in the South focused their efforts on equalizing accommodations, rather than on the more daunting--and dangerous--task of undoing segregation. After the ruling, momentum for vigorously pursuing equality grew, and Black...

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