Black Librarians: A Story of Resilience and Racism in America

Black Librarians: A Story of Resilience and Racism in America

Billy Allen (middle), Desmond​​​​ London (right), and Faith Barrow-Waheed (left)

The upcoming documentary unveils the fight for freedom through literacy.

CHARLOTTE , NORTH CAROLINA, UNITED STATES, January 24, 2024 / — An upcoming documentary highlights the remarkable contributions of black librarians, who stand at the forefront in the battle against book banning and censorship. Introducing ‘Are You a Librarian: The Untold Story of Black Librarians,’ a film poised for release in early 2025. This film will illuminate the profound impact of Black librarians in shaping everyone’s shared knowledge and understanding of the world.

Behind this cinematic masterpiece is a team of dedicated librarians and library workers, each with a unique and compelling story. Meet Rodney E. Freeman Jr., the Executive Producer who envisioned a project that goes beyond just commemorating the journey of Black librarians but seeks to illuminate and share their stories on a global stage with their tribulations and exceptional contributions.

Rodney, a black librarian himself, acknowledges the additional responsibility of the role, stating, “Being a black librarian means that you have an additional responsibility to make sure that everyone is truly represented in the library.” This sentiment echoes through the entire team, colleagues, and passionate advocates for representing diverse voices within libraries.

The documentary production team consists of Angel Truesdale, Librarian Associate Professor; Zuri Davenport, Writer; Asia Harris, Independent Filmmaker; Byron Williams, Videographer; Adreonna Bennett, Archivist, and of course, Rodney E. Freeman Jr. as the Executive Producer. Each member brings a unique perspective and skill set to the project, making it collaborative.

To capture the essence of their work and the significance of Black librarianship, the team shared their inspiration in the recent Good Morning America 3 segment. In the segment, Rodney emphasized preserving black history and culture for future generations. He said, “We’re gonna find a way to make sure that we preserve black history and preserve our culture so we can pass it down for future generations because it’s important, and it’s American history.”
The documentary aims to trace the rich history of Black librarianship across the country, highlighting the experiences and challenges faced by Black librarians, both in the past and present. Dr. Meredith Evans, Director of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum, shared her insights: “Black librarianship is about bringing equity, bringing ourselves to our work so that it’s not monolithic.”

‘Are You a Librarian: The Untold Story of Black Librarians’ seeks to be a powerful and thought-provoking experience, inspiring viewers to recognize the unsung heroes who have devoted their lives to ensuring access to information for all. The documentary’s release is eagerly awaited, promising to celebrate Black librarianship’s resilience, triumphs, and significance.

Rodney Freeman
Reminisce Preservation LLC
[email protected]
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