Thoughtful Thursdays, Stayed on Freedom with the Call of Freedom, and Libraries as Safe Spaces

Who remembers the role that public libraries played in bringing neighbors together?

So, how do we each help our society to become more fully inclusive for all of us now, and to come and work together, for all of us?

I believe that attention to shared histories of times when a certain library in DC helped, may provide part of an answer.  I started a note about that, a few years ago, in my book Stayed on Freedom’s Call:

” …Carnegie Public Library. Some working class neighborhoods, such as the SW neighborhood where Al Jolson learned the speaking style he would later play on
stage, allowed limited mixing. The annual Easter Monday Egg Rolling contest was, however, the only officially non-segregated social event in the city for many years. Despite this, or because of it, Washington, DC was eventually
declared the most segregated city in the Union. That artificial separation of groups and classes of people, with its attendant humiliation and ambiguity for both Negroes and Jews, was shown for the disruptive force it was meant to be, and broken down in two places: the lone institution of learning where all could meet and see past their differences, and the largest market in the city, where all could meet and see their common needs for food, and other goods, as human beings.

At the turn of the century, both communities developed similar ways of evading White discrimination. Both communities built their own institutions, and both sometimes had assimilation attempts. The Jewish community took refuge in its own institutions, from the synagogues to the YMHA near 11th and
Pennsylvania Ave, NW.

Comparable institutions in the African-American
community included churches and the 12th Street YMCA, also known as the Anthony Bowen YMCA, after a prominent free man of color who was a…


Page 17″

So, it turns out that I might have needed to explain a bit more about the levels of segregation in the city, on this page.  Some fresh reviews would help me decide that specific.

Page sixteen was last week…

Action Items:

1.) What are your thoughts on shared community spaces, like libraries?

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how continuing empathy-building cooperation might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.

4.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking at least for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this

GoodReads button: Stayed on Freedom's Call: Cooperation Between Jewish And African-American Communities In Washington, DC,  Vote, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plan Book):


Peace     ! שָׁלוֹם

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BSCS

the year, 2021 CE = year 12021 HE

(The last GED lesson 67/67 , and the first lesson 1/67…), and

Babylon 5 review posts (online, offline: B5EpsThr15), and

Baby Acres: a Vision of a Better World (posts listed at bottom of page…)

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.


Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

49 thoughts on “Thoughtful Thursdays, Stayed on Freedom with the Call of Freedom, and Libraries as Safe Spaces

    1. Thank you, Kym, for reading and commenting on this page in history, quite literally, showing how one library in a capital city served as a leading light in desegregation, before it’s time.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I see my little, local library is awash with (black) students, from the earliest grades to those doing long distance learning in pursuit of degrees and diplomas. Internet, available in for free, has been installed too! Relieved to say the least.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The times they are a’changing. I remember going multiple times a week to our library, especially in the summer. Now I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been to our library up here in the 15 years since we moved here. There is so much information available at our fingertips online, it makes things easy to get right from the comfort of home.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You are right, with so much information on the internet, I wonder what is happening at the libraries? Computers cannot replace our need for interaction and friendships so this should be considered if less libraries are open now.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Actually, we’ve never had the level of funding and support for public libraries that were desegregated, even back then, that we really needed. But yes, we had more, and we need to get back to and beyond what we had back then, for all of us.

          Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, 5thGen! I love the libr. env. too.

      Libraries are relaxing, inviting, and need our support. We won’t loose them if we keep borrowing, requesting book purchases, donating our books, and urging our reps/elected officials to give more funding to our public library systems!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Yes ma’am, which is also why I take on the task of introducing younger generations to the library. My G-son was 3 when he began visiting the college library. Now almost 12, it’s become a weekend adventure & he’s quite responsible for getting them back on time, lol.
        Also I’ve been hesitant to ask, but I’m a bit confused. Are your post actual assignments for readers? I saw one regarding public transpo that I am very interested in.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Excellent work, Ma’am, thank you! And please, never hesitate to pose any question or make any comment, here on this blog! My GED lesson plan posts are basically updated lesson plans from when I taught GED/HiSET prep and High School Equivalency at night (and a lesson plan /example or two, from when I taught college algebra), meant for anyone and everyone, so please do feel free to ask, respond, comment, add, share, etc!
          What I am trying to do now is to help out anyone working on learning from home, and I’m also expanding my old lessons, now that I am out of the classroom, and can teach more holistically (which we never had time for in class).
          And public transportation is one of my main passions, so please, please, let’s hear that comment!!

          Stay safe, waiting for your reply!
          -Shira Destinie, or just Shira

          Liked by 2 people

  4. I absolutely love my public library. Would never want to live in a town without one. The collection is great but the community events have also been important, from Storytime readings for toddlers, to Lego contests, to film screenings, to adult lectures. Whenever I visit I feel like I just stepped into a candy store where all of the sweets are free.

    I hope to visit the DC public library within the next couple years since my daughter will be going to school there. They are great venues to check out while traveling. One of my favorites is the public library in Paris that was established by Cardinal Richelieu.

    Can’t say enough about them. They’re simply wonderful.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “…community events have also been important, from Storytime readings for toddlers, to Lego contests, to film screenings, to adult lectures. Whenever I visit I feel like I just stepped into a candy store where all of the sweets are free.”

      Thank you, Carol! This is exactly what I have been working to remind everyone: libraries are far, far more than about simply finding information. They are community hubs.

      re. DC: excellent -the MLK main branch has a fantastic Washingtoniana section for local research, and don’t forget that all 19 of the Smithsonians are entirely free, including the National Zoo, which is wonderful just to walk through on a Saturday afternoon.

      Don’t forget to download “Stayed” from The Archive and take the tours in Chapter 6(?or ch 5?). Even most DC tour guides don’t know about most of it, including the Snow Riots (ok, I never got a chance to put a tour together for that one that didn’t take 3 hours, so just check out a version of “Snow Storm in August” from the library and follow it around with his maps of where the old courthouse used to be…).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve visited the Smithsonian and the National Zoo many times and am definitely planning to visit again. I also love the Library of Congress.

        Oooh! I will definitely check out the tour section in Stayed. Thanks.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Also, if you’re on Twitter, the DCPL has a ‘brown bag’ every week, and lots of other special tweet threads pretty much every day.

      Hopefully Rep. Eleanor Holmes-Norton can get us more funding for the entire branch system, as many of the local branches did not have access to the NARA database a few years ago, and folks were being referred up to the main branch. I think the closest metro might be 7th & G, but at least 2 metro stations are easy walking distance to the MLK.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually, I’m wrong about Richelieu “establishing” the National Library but one of the main branches in Paris is named after him. Built in the 19th century, the architecture is beautiful.

        Liked by 1 person

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