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Separate but NOT Equal: The 1939 Alexandria Public Library Sit-in & The 1959 desegregation of Arlington County’s Schools

Join the Mount Vernon chapter of AAUW (American Association of University Women) and guest speakers, Brenda Mitchell-Powers and Wilma Jones as they discuss the 1939 Alexandria Public Library Sit-in and the 1959 desegregation of Arlington County’s Schools.

This event is co-sponsored by the Mt. Vernon AAUW branch.

Thursday, February 29, 2024
1:30pm - 3:00pm
Sherwood Meeting Room
Library Branch:
Sherwood Regional Library
Author Event Black History Presentation/Performance
FCPL Event Guidelines

Brenda Mitchell-Powell earned her Ph.D. from Simmons University in Archives Management as an American Library Association (ALA) Spectrum Fellow in 2015. Currently an independent scholar and researcher, Dr. Mitchell-Powell served as a contributor, writer, editor, reviewer, and consultant for several national and international publications, as well as for city, state, and federal agencies, literary councils, publishers, cultural organizations, and professional associations.

Her essays on Black history and culture and her reviews of educational materials, literary titles, children’s books, and library resources have appeared in a variety of trade and professional publications. Her book, Public in Name Only: The 1939 Alexandria Library Sit-In Demonstration, published 2022, focuses not only on the struggle for desegregation in Alexandria but also provides an overview of the Jim Crow laws, their impact, and the legal battle to defeat them.


Wilma Jones is a top-performing director in corporate information technology sales, popular keynote speaker and workshop leader, self-published author and award-winning community activist, Wilma Jones is a dynamic force in a variety of pursuits. An engaged civic activist, Wilma is serving her fourth term as president of the John M. Langston Citizens Association.

Wilma’s third book, My Halls Hill Family: More Than a Neighborhood is a historic memoir of the neighborhood she grew up in and still resides in today, Halls Hill. As a fourth-generation resident of Halls Hill, which was a completely African-American community until the 1970’s, the book is her attempt to save at least some of the community’s stories. To the many people who grew up there, visited family there or even spent time there, Halls Hill was more than a neighborhood. On February 2, 1959, Wilma’s brother, Michael Jones, was one of four Black students to enter Stratford Junior High School.

Event Organizer

Zayne Reeves, Information

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