In the 1930s, like most libraries in the Jim Crow South, Alexandria Library did not allow access to African Americans. In 1939, after an ongoing effort to convince officials to establish equal access to community resources, 26-year-old resident and attorney Samuel W. Tucker organized five other African American residents to participate in a sit-in protest.
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Black History Month
In honor of Black History Month in February, the Portland Library held an all-ages event with screenings, games and activities celebrating black superheroes. We screened episodes of “Static Shock,” a TV show from the early '00s that featured a black superhero, and had an array of games, coloring pages and a book display.
We have held the event for the past four years, and it has grown in popularity each time.
Heritage Makers is a series of makerspace workshops that highlight a "maker" from history. The workshops are planned in conjunction with heritage or awareness months for which our library already has celebrations and programming, such as Women's History Month, Disability Awareness Month and Native American Heritage Month.
History Comes Alive is a series of programs featuring dramatic portrayals of African American men and women who impacted not just Minnesota, but the entire nation. In these programs, historical figures come to life through performances by museum-trained actors, scripted storytelling and the use of props, artifacts, letters, publications, illustrations and maps. The series is offered in collaboration with the Minnesota African American Museum.
An interactive display for Black History Month, Who Am I? shares historically important facts about 17 black Americans. It invites users to read the information and guess to whom the facts are referring, then lift the cover page/fact sheet to reveal the image of the person, along with date of birth and, when applicable, date of death.