Alexandria and Black History; Institution More Than Just a museum.(FAMILY TIMES)(FIELD TRIPS)

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), September 15, 2002 | Go to article overview

Alexandria and Black History; Institution More Than Just a museum.(FAMILY TIMES)(FIELD TRIPS)


Byline: Alexandra Rockey Fleming, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

In 1939, 13 Southern states were hosts to 764 public libraries. Just 99 admitted black Americans. In the spring of that year, five young black men were arrested in the Alexandria Free Library on charges of disorderly conduct. Their crime: They had attempted to exercise library privileges at a whites-only facility.

"Many people probably don't even have an idea about the '39 sit-in," says Audrey Davis, curator and assistant director of the Alexandria Black History Resource Center. That event - one of the first actions of civil disobedience - led to the 1940 creation of the Robert H. Robinson Library, the first public library for Alexandria's black community.

Today, that building stands as the cornerstone of the Alexandria Black History Resource Center, which opened in 1983 and is now under the direction of the Office of Historic Alexandria. In the Parker-Gray district of Old Town just a few blocks off Washington Street, the center promotes Alexandria's black history and builds on the knowledge of black contributions to society through lectures, videos, tours of the center and related artifacts.

Attractions and resources include an ever-expanding permanent collection, gallery space for rotating exhibits and the adjacent Watson Reading Room, which is a noncirculating research repository. The Alexandria African American Heritage Park, an 8-acre memorial space about a dozen blocks away from the center on Duke Street, completes the center's offerings.

Some of the center's materials showcase Alexandria's early history; many reflect years of struggle by the city's black residents.

"When you come to this country, by the great writings of our forefathers, you assume that you have certain rights as an American citizen," Ms. Davis says. "But with our exhibits, we want to ask, 'Is that really the case?' Do new immigrants think they'll be able to achieve everything that white Americans have achieved? We want to pose these questions."

The center inspires such questions via "Securing the Blessings of Liberty," a permanent exhibit under development that was created "to take people back to Africa and up to the present, showing you family history and education," Ms. Davis says. "'Securing the Blessings' will have the viewers work with the curators as we discover more history about Alexandria. The final product will be unveiled in February 2004."

Among the artifacts in the Robert H. Robinson Library are photographs of people "who may not have been the most famous but who made a difference," Ms. Davis says. They include William Thomas, the first black Alexandrian casualty of World War I, and Cpl. Wayne L. Jordan, a native Alexandrian killed in Vietnam in 1967. Also included are copies of letters and photographs of the old slave pen on Duke Street. A regal mahogany organ, constructed in 1891 in Vermont, sits on loan from Alexandria's Shiloh Baptist Church.

Across the lobby, the Parker-Gray Gallery (named for the principals of two of Alexandria's early schools for black children after the Civil War) houses the center's rotating exhibits, which change every few months. "Reading the Word: The Church and African American Education," opening this month, explores the role of the church in educating blacks after the Civil War. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Alexandria and Black History; Institution More Than Just a museum.(FAMILY TIMES)(FIELD TRIPS)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.