LETTERS READ: The Desegregation of New Orleans Public Libraries

Wednesday, February 13, 2019
6:00 to 7:30 pm
Nora Navra Library
1902 St. Bernard Avenue
Admission free and open to the public. This presentation was generously underwritten by Friends of the New Orleans Public Library.
Listen to the performance here.

Mack Guillory III, Emcee. 
Julie Dietz, Reader.

The historic fight for civil rights in New Orleans is more complicated than most movements in the other 50 United States. Prior to Reconstruction, and the Jim Crow era, free people of color here could legally own property. Free persons of color could even own slaves.

Another anomaly, albeit post-Jim Crow, is how and when our libraries changed from a separate but equal policy to total desegregation. Without fanfare, our libraries desegregated almost a decade prior to most of the rest of the deep South. An amazing accomplishment for a small, deeply southern town rooted in antebellum sensibilities and unique, international roots.

Join us for the story of desegregation in New Orleans libraries ca. 1954. To read more about desegregation in the Jim Crow era South, go here.

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