In the past 90 years, Charleston has been through sweeping historical change. The Great Depression, World War II, the Civil Rights Movement, and countless triumphs and follies of over a dozen administrations — and the John L. Dart Library has been witness to it all. 
[content-1] When John L. Dart founded the library in 1927, it was the first free public library for African Americans in Charleston. The library initially functioned as a reading room for the Charleston Normal and Industrial School, a school Dart also founded to serve African-American children pushed out of the segregated school system. Dart’s daughter, Susan Dart Butler, established the actual library, and helped elevate it as a foundation for music, politics, and literature for African Americans throughout the community.

In celebration of 90 years as a pillar of the community and a product of the Civil Rights Movement, Charleston Public Library is hosting an anniversary event from 10:30 a.m to 12 p.m. this Sat. Dec. 9 at the John L. Dart Library at 1067 King St. The event will include the unveiling of a historical marker and special presentations of poetry and clips from a documentary about the history of the John L. Dart library.

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