Get local news delivered straight to your phone

21

SATURDAY

We can't make City Paper without you

$
$
$

Your contribution is appreciated.

In 1939, five African-American men staged a peaceful sit-in at the Queen Street Library in Alexandria. Their goal was simply to gain library cards, but the result of the protest was far more substantial. Wisely avoiding the expensive printing costs and tedious laminating process involved in creating new cards, the city of Alexandria decided to build an entirely new library for its darker citizens. Today, the Office of Historic Alexandria presents a re-enactment of the not-quite-famous sit-in that brought about the construction of the Robinson Library for African-American citizens in 1940. Now, I don’t know how much effort it takes to dramatically re-enact a sit-in, but something tells me that it’s a lot less than some people will go through just to get away from black folk. The re-enactment, directed by local actor Hugh Staples, begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Alexandria Free Library, 717 Queen Street, Alexandria. For reservations call (703) 838-4554. Education: A Means of Access in the New Millennium, a panel discussion of the 1939 protest, takes place at 2 p.m. at the Alexandria Black History Resource Center, 638 N. Alfred St., Alexandria. Both events are free. For reservations call (703) 838-4356. (Neil Drumming)