The Alexandria Library Sit-In that occurred on August 21, 1939 is the earliest known library sit-in and a pivotal event in our library's history.
Library Director Rose Dawson will tell the story of the event organized by local lawyer, Samuel Wilber Tucker, as he had five African-American men try to get library cards at the then whites-only Alexandria Library.
The men, who after being refused a library card, then politely sat and read a book at tables in the library. The flustered staff called the police and the men were escorted out of the Queen Street building. Tucker arranged to have a photographer document the event. Virtually ignored by most newspapers, the case for equal opportunity continued to be widely reported in the African American press across the country.
Learn more about this event and how it led to the changes made to the Alexandria Library.