Title

Strange Career: Reconciling Race and Profession in American Librarianship

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Winter 2020

Abstract

The history of librarianship in the United States is a history of exclusion, by the white majority, of African Americans from the activities of the profession, and the subsequent creation of separate African American professional institutions and activities. The white majority took an active role in excluding African Americans from four important elements of professionalism: the means of professional education, participation in professional organizations, meaningful attendance at professional conferences, and access to venues for publication. Since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 overt forms of exclusion have been eliminated, but the history of paternalism and racism have never been widely acknowledged or resolved. Adoption of Cultural Humility, as developed in the healthcare professions, could serve to make librarianship a more inclusive, healthier profession.

Publication Title

Progressive Librarian

Volume Number

47

First Page

81

Last Page

106

ISSN

1052-5726

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