Regina Anderson Andrews, Harlem Renaissance Librarian
Publication Year: 2014
Published by: University of Illinois Press
Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication
I would like to especially thank Raquel Von Cogell and Dr. Cherene Sherrard- Johnson, who enthusiastically supported this project during the entire journey. I began this journey as an assistant professor at University of California– Los Angeles (UCLA) Department of Information Studies. Crucial support...
While reading background literature for another project, I came across an article about the role of the 135th Street Branch of the New York Public Library (NYPL) in the lives of African Americans during the Harlem Renaissance.1 This essay mentioned that the Caucasian head librarian, the legendary Ernestine...
1. Chicago: The Beginning
In 1923, when Regina, as a librarian, decided to remain in New York City, it seemed like the most obvious thing to do would be to seek employment at the largest library system in the city—the New York Public Library. Although Regina lived with family in Chicago and had a good job at the Chicago Public...
2. Normal, Illinois; Chicago; Wilberforce, and Chicago Public Library
In 1911, after sixteen years of marriage, Regina’s parents divorced over allegations of infidelity against William. Margaret accused William of becoming intimate with a former client who obtained a divorce using William as her attorney. According to the Broad Axe newspaper, “this particular Colored lady...
3. Harmlem Renaissance Women and 580 St. Nicholas Avenue
When Regina’s interviewer at the New York Public Library told her that she was not American, Regina recalled that she was “quite startled because I never had this confrontation in Chicago.” With fewer African Americans in Chicago than in New York City, the Chicago Public Library hired more...
Regina, like many young women in New York City, had a dating life that was complicated, diverse, and mysterious. She had more than one fiancé, a long distance relationship, a possible affair with a Jewish writer, and a secret lover—the author of a “Dear Reggie” letter who may have been the one she...
5. The Harlem Experimental Theatre
Regina’s participation in the little theater movement began with her involvement with the theater company founded by her friend W. E. B. Du Bois. Sometime during 1924, Du Bois contacted Supervising Librarian Ernestine Rose and asked for permission to use the basement of the 135th Street Branch...
6. The New York Public Library
All was not well in Regina’s professional life. For all that she was doing for the New York Public Library, Regina believed that she was neither being paid a wage that recognized her contributions nor being afforded the opportunities for promotion she deserved. Her relationship with Ernestine...
7. International Flights
Regina gave a speech at a Korean high-school graduation and recalled, “[A]fter I stopped speaking they got up and dashed out and I was so disappointed. I said (to myself) ‘they didn’t even stop to say that they like it or enjoyed it.’ When I got outside they were all lined up in a long line all the...
8. Mahopac, New York
“Last night . . . was free from gunshots,” Regina wrote in her own hand as an addendum to her typewritten letter to her friends Mr. and Mrs. J. Newton Hill, representing the African-American Institute in Lagos, Nigeria. She meant to reassure them after typing the following...
About the Author, Publisher Notes
Page Count: 176
Publication Year: 2014
OCLC Number: 884725751
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