What you can do for the Hattiesburg freedom library
Although the Hattiesburg Freedom Library has a large number of books, there are many glaring gaps in our collection. You can help to fill these gaps.
1. Books by and about Negroes: Negro history; fiction - Richard Wright, James Baldwin (we don’t need Go Tell It On the Mountain), Ralph Ellison, some of the lesser known modern writers; poetry - Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks; books about the nature of prejudice; anything dealing with the situation of Negroes in this country. We need many, many more copies of The Closed Society by James Silver and Stride Toward Freedom by Martin Luther King, Jr.
2. Books for children, especially books with very simple vocabularies. We very badly need “integrated” story books and stories in which Negro children are the protagonists, also Negro history for children.
You can obtain titles of the books suggested above from a number of organizations. For instance, I have such a list, prepared by the NAACP of Oxford, Ohio: “Books for Inter-racial Understanding”.
Other lists are:
“Books About Negro Life for Children” -- The New York Public Library
“Books for Friendship” (children’s books), $.50 -- American Friends Service Committee, 160 N. 15th St., Philadelphia 2, Pa.
“On These We Stand” -- Chicago Public Library “Books for Brotherhood” -- National Conference of Christians and Jews, 43 West 57th St., New York 19, NY.
3. Literature about non-violence, about the Movement, and about civil rights. A great deal of this sort of literature is available in the form of pamphlets and reprints and can be obtained free or at a small cost from organizations interested in these problems. You could fasten each piece of literature into some sort of a binder for purposes of circulation.
Southern Christian Leadership Conference, 208 Auburn Ave., N.E., Atlanta 3, Georgia
War Resisters League, 5 Beekman St., New York 10038
Students Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, 6 Raymond St., Atlanta 14, Georgia
Congress of Racial Equality, 38 Park Row, New York 38, New York
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, 20 West 40th St., New York 18, New York
Fellowship of Reconciliation, Box 271, Nyack, New York
Committee for Nonviolent Action, 325 Lafayette St., New York 12, New York
National Urban League, 14 East 48 St., New York 17, New York
American Civil Liberties Union, 156 Fifth Avenue, New York 10, New York
4. Good poetry books, especially modern poetry.
5. Contemporary fiction, say from 1920 on. We have one book by Hemingway, no F. Scott Fitzgerald, no Salinger, etc.
What You Can Do Right Now
1. Send all the children’s books you can find.
2. Collect a small amount of money, go to your nearest bookstore, buy all the relevant paperbacks you can, and mail them to us: Freedom Library, 507 Mobile St., Hattiesburg, Miss.
3. Then, raise some more money, send away for a list of recommended books, and start ordering some of the less easily available titles. Since we may not have a full time librarian to order books, it is better to send books than money. If you do send money, send postal money orders made out to Sanford Leigh and indicate that the money is to be used for the library.
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