Join us as Professor Ethelene Whitmire, visiting from the University of Wisconsin – Madison’s School of Library & Information Studies, examines the life of Regina Andrews (1901-1993), the first African American Supervising Librarian in the New York Public Library system. In addition to being a librarian, she was a playwright and key member of the Harlem Renaissance. She began her career in 1923 at the 135th Street branch (now known as the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture) and ended it with her retirement from the Washington Heights branch in 1967. In From the Modernist Annex: American Women Writers in Museums and Libraries, Karin Roffman states, “Much has been made of the importance of the 135th Street Library in the 1920s to writers and artists in the Harlem Renaissance.” She continues, “This library was a transformed and transforming space. It was a library, but it was also a museum, an experimental theatre, a lecture hall, a community meeting hall, and a work space for writers.” Professor Whitmire will use black feminist theory to investigate the intersections of race, class, and gender in Andrews personal, professional, creative (playwright and actress), and civic lives.
Check out the Regina Andrews Digital Story