Note from Shorty: This story was retrieved from the March 24, 2010 issues of The Black Star Project’s. Please review and share your thoughts.
Dear Black Star Project,
…..Yesterday my son was kicked out of Hyde Park’s Blackstone public library.
He has been frequenting this branch for about a month and a half, right after school until about 4pm, when I pick him up.
While doing homework at the table yesterday, he and three other young AA (African American) males were told that “people like them didn’t belong in a library and that they should go to the bar and hang with their peeps.” My son, being the outspoken person he is, responded by showing the work he was doing and told the Librarian (branch manager) he wanted to be at the library and not a bar. The Librarian felt he was being a “wise-guy” and insolent and told him to get out. He was humiliated in front of his peers for speaking up for himself. That is not the message I want my child to get!
I immediately came to the branch to find out what happened – wanting to speak with the adult in this situation. I was not able to have an adult conversation with this woman as she was argumentative and condescending. I was confused as to why she didn’t lead us into her office, instead she brought us into the main children’s area with the security guard. However the security guard had nothing to do with my son being kicked out nor did she hear the comments that were made. I got the feeling she didn’t want to be alone in the office with my husband and I.
She went on and on about these kids going into branches all over the city and treat it like they are at a singles bar and how she doesn’t like how they treat her libraries. When I tried to tell her her comments were offensive, she responded by saying she believes the way they behave is offensive. Not once did she ever apologize or admit the error of her ways.
I think it’s an atrocity that she is allowed within 100 feet of AA children, let alone any child. She obviously has a deep issue with AA children, males especially.
I contacted the central district chief just a few moments ago to file an official complaint. However, I didn’t leave that conversation too satisfied as I was told that maybe the librarian was trying to talk to them in a way that was relatable. Huh?! So needless to say I don’t think this librarian will be fired and I don’t think this situation will be taken as serious as it should. More and more of our children will suffer being stereotyped, talked down to and have their spirits broken via this branch if something is not done.
Your advice and thoughts are welcomed.
Thanks in advance