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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Alexandria, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Robert Robinson Library -1940

Alexandria Black Resource Center / History Museum - 1989

 
 
Robert Robinson Library Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, October 30, 2013
1. Robert Robinson Library Marker
Inscription.
Panel 1:
In the summer of 1939, Attorney Samuel W. Tucker organized six youths — William Evans, Otto Tucker, Edward Caddis, Morris Murray, Clarence Strange, and Robert Strange — for a “sit-in” at the segregated Alexandria Public Library, protesting the denial of access to the African American community. The “sit-in” is believed to have been the earliest in America. The arrest of five of these young men and their court case, pleaded by Mr. Tucker, resulted in a separate facility for African Americans being built here, at 698 North Alfred Street, the present location of the Alexandria Black History Resource Center.

The library is named after the Reverend Robert Robinson, a 19th century minister at the Roberts Chapel M.E. Church in the 600 block of S. Washington Street. With Mrs. Evelyn Roper Beam as its first librarian, the Robert Robinson Library opened its doors to the African American community on April 24, 1940.

Panel 2:
Alexandria Black History Resource Center
April 8, 1989
The Alexandria Black History Resource Center opened in 1983 and was located in the Robert Robinson Library. This addition to the Library was completed and rededicated in 1989. The Center, established through the cooperation of the City of Alexandria, the
The Robert Robinson Library Marker, at the corner of Alfred and Wythe Streets image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, October 30, 2013
2. The Robert Robinson Library Marker, at the corner of Alfred and Wythe Streets
Alexandria Society for the Preservation of Black Heritage, Inc. and the Alumni Association of Parker-Gray School, has as its mission: to preserve and interpret the history and culture of Alexandria’s African American community.

James P. Moran, Jr., Mayor
Patricia S. Ticer, Vice Mayor
Council Members:
Lionel R. Hope; William Cleveland; Michael T. Jackson; Kerry J. Donley; Redella S. Pepper
Vola Lawson, City Manager

 
Erected 1983 by the City of Alexandria, the Alexandria Society for the Preservation of Black Heritage, Inc. and the Alumni Association of Parker-Gray School.
 
Location. 38° 48.725′ N, 77° 2.872′ W. Marker is in Alexandria, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of Wythe Street and North Alfred Street, on the right when traveling east on Wythe Street. Touch for map. Panel 1: is on the southwest corner of the intersection, one block east of N. Patrick St. (U.S. Hwy. 1).
Panel 2: is at the main (north side) entrance to the expanded Alexandria Black History Museum/Resource Center at 902 Wythe Street. Marker is at or near this postal address: 902 Wythe Street, Alexandria VA 22314, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Memorial Pool (about 300 feet away,
"The Alexandria Black Resource Center," 1989 - plaque next to the Alexandria Black History Museum's image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, October 30, 2013
3. "The Alexandria Black Resource Center," 1989 - plaque next to the Alexandria Black History Museum's
main entrance off Wythe Street.
measured in a direct line); James Bland Homes (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Hump: Open Lots For Blocks (approx. 0.2 miles away); Colross-Alexandria's Urban Phoenix (approx. 0.2 miles away); Home of Edmund Jennings Lee (approx. 0.2 miles away); Washington-Rochambeau Route (approx. 0.2 miles away); Lee-Fendall House (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Lee-Fendall House (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Alexandria.
 
Also see . . .
1. Alexandria Black History Museum. (Submitted on November 1, 2013, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
2. Samuel Wilber Tucker, esq. (Submitted on November 1, 2013, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
 
Additional keywords. "Jim Crow"; "separate but equal"; "desegregation"; "Alexandria Black History Museum"
 
Categories. African AmericansCivil RightsEducation
 
"638 N. Alfred Street" - the origial entrance to the Robert Robinson Library - 1940 image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, October 31, 2013
4. "638 N. Alfred Street" - the origial entrance to the Robert Robinson Library - 1940
The Alexandria Black History Museum - incorporating the old Robert Robinson Library facility,1989 image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, October 31, 2013
5. The Alexandria Black History Museum - incorporating the old Robert Robinson Library facility,1989
Samuel W. Tucker image. Click for full size.
Wikipedia
6. Samuel W. Tucker
Alexandria Library Sit-in, 1939 image. Click for full size.
Wikipedia
7. Alexandria Library Sit-in, 1939
The Alexandria Public Library - Kate Waller Barrett Branch image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, October 31, 2013
8. The Alexandria Public Library - Kate Waller Barrett Branch
- site of the 1939 "sit-in".
Alexandria Public Library - interior plaque commemorating the 1939 sit-in image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, October 15, 2013
9. Alexandria Public Library - interior plaque commemorating the 1939 sit-in

"Library the Scene of Human Rights Action"

A library is the collective memory of all humanity. Its contents are the common heritage of us all.

On August 21, 1939, five citizens of the city walked into this building and sat at one of its reading tables. Though surrounded by the wisdom of the ages, they were denied access to the thoughts on the shelves around them for a reason as implausible as the color of their skin. For merely being in this room, they were arrested.

The act of these five men in defying a discriminatory regulation was one of the earliest examples of a tactic successfully employed by a later generation to undermine racial segregation across the nation. This plaque is placed here so that the names of these five courageous citizens – William Evans, Otto Tucker, Edward Gaddis, Morris Murray and Clarence “Buck” Strange – will forever remain a part of the collective memory of our community.

In Commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the
Human Rights Ordinance of the City of Alexandria
March 25, 2000

[The Seal of the City of Alexandria, Virginia]
Exhibits in the Alexandria Black History Museum image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 15, 2014
10. Exhibits in the Alexandria Black History Museum
inside the Robinson Library Building
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 31, 2013, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,060 times since then and 71 times this year. Last updated on November 1, 2013, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos:   1. submitted on October 31, 2013, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on November 1, 2013, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   10. submitted on March 22, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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