The recent US presidential campaigns and the subsequent election have laid bare many highly charged political and social issues that historically remained unresolved but have over the years slipped into a sphere of topics avoided in polite and civil conversation. Among the many discussions and topics that took hold as a result of Hilary Clinton’s campaign for US president was that of the glass ceiling. The reemergence of the discussion of racial and gender barriers in politics and professional life in America provides an opportunity to revisit the history of racial barriers in the library profession, particularly in library education. This essay provides a framework for understanding the racial and social dynamics that led to the development of a separate but unequal system for educating African American librarians in America. And, of equal or perhaps greater significance at this stage in our profession’s evolution, it highlights the significant contributions of African American leaders in library education who also overcame tremendous obstacles and systemic barriers, and ultimately changed the profession regarding who it invites in, and who and how it seeks to serve.