Elementary School Students Relive 1939 Library Sit-in | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Elementary School Students Relive 1939 Library Sit-in

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A group of third graders in Alexandria helped to make sure the 70th anniversary of a local civil rights protest didn't pass by without recognition. On August 21st, 1939 five young African-American men walked into the public library in Alexandria and were soon arrested. The third graders who reenacted the protest on Friday attend Samuel W. Tucker Elementary. Samuel Tucker, a prominent African-American attorney, helped organize the library sit-in.

Ferdinand Day, Alexandria's first African-American School Board Chair, and the first in the state grew up with Tucker and the five young men who protested. "I'm proud of my city -- as I'm proud of these five young men," the 91-year-old said. The 1939 protest helped pave the way for the construction of a library for blacks though it was never as well stocked as the library for whites.

Jonathan Wilson reports

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