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November 06, 2019 : Friends of the Library Present: THE TOUGALOO NINE AND THE READ-IN, JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI-1961

By Brandy Ellinger


segregationDr. Mark Nevin, Associate Professor of History at Ohio University Lancaster will be speaking at the fall Friends of the Library event at 6:30 PM on November 14th held in the newly renovated Wilkes Gallery.  He will present his research THE TOUGALOO NINE AND THE READ-IN, JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI-1961. Refreshments will be available. Admission is free and is open to the public.


In the Jim Crow South, library segregation was commonplace. In the 1960s, African-American students targeted libraries as part of the “sit-in” movement to destroy segregation. In 1961, nine students from Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi, held a “read-in” at the city’s main library to protest its ban on black patrons. Dr. Nevin’s presentation will tell the story of the Jackson read-in and the larger movement to desegregate southern libraries in the 1960s.


“When we think of segregated facilities, we don’t typically think of libraries, but desegregation of southern libraries was an important accomplishment of the civil rights movement,” Professor Nevin says.


nevinNevin teaches a variety of courses in American History, including the US surveys, African American history, the American Revolution, the Civil War, the Progressive Era, World War II, the Vietnam War, and the 1960s. His main research interest is post-1945 American political history. Nevin has recently been interviewed about the connection between modern political events and his findings in an article on Barry Goldwater and congressional Republicans during Watergate, published in the Journal of Policy History. He also published a history of the two nineteenth-century bridges on campus. “A Tale of Two Bridges: A History of Ohio University Lancaster’s John Bright Bridges” appeared in an issue of AURCO. Nevin has a Ph.D. in American History from the University of Virginia.


The Friends of the Library organization was created in 1985 by Library Director Hannah V. McCauley. The mission of the Friends of the Library is to extend quality library and information services, generate funding for special materials and programs, and increase community awareness. Friend’s members support speakers as well as the addition of material to the library’s collection.


Speaker presentations like the ones sponsored by the Friends of the Library are part of an initiative to increase opportunities for cultural enrichment on campus through speakers, arts and music. The Ohio University Lancaster Campus is working to transform the lives of its students and those in the community by becoming the cultural and intellectual hub of Fairfield County and the surrounding area.