Integration of Evans Library

(1966-67) One of the most significant occurrences of the Civil Rights Movement in Aberdeen pertained to the public libraries in the town. In 1939, Dr. W. A. Evans donated the money to establish a library in Aberdeen. At first, the library resided in the second floor of City Hall. However, a building was later built on Long Street, and after Dr. Evans passed away in 1948, the library was renamed Evans Memorial Library. At the time of Dr. Evans donation, he not only created a library for white citizens of Amory, but he also established a separate library in the black community called the Newburger Library. As late as 1966, the libraries were still segregated facilities, even though both were public. However, in late 1966 or early 1967, a group of black library patrons filed a racial discrimination suit against the Evans Memorial Library for refusing to allow the black citizens of Aberdeen to have access to the larger library. This suit never made it into the courtroom. The leadership of the library decided to correct the problem that initiated the suit by integrating Evans Memorial Library and closing Newburger Library.

Sources:

Interview with Mrs. Barbara Blair