Flushing had the first library in Queens, founded in 1858 as a subscription service, but thanks in part to the advocacy of Mary Ann Shaw (pictured below), the principal of an African-American school in Flushing, it became a free circulation library in 1884. In the years that followed, the library struggled financially, and so Shaw became an active fund-raiser on behalf of the organization. Upon her death, Shaw bequeathed $1,000 for the purchase of books. An original photograph of Shaw is on display in the children’s room on the second floor.
Flushing is noteworthy in African-American history for another reason, too: In the early 1800s, a number of African Americans settled in Flushing, including Lewis Latimer, a noted inventor and author.
For more on the history of this neighborhood, check out Flushing: Then & Now by Jason Antos, available at Queens Library.
Consider visiting on:
Thursday, February 7: Free Event, February Poetry Festival: Performers are invited to share their talents in a 5-minute presentation of poetry, prose, music, comedy, or spoken word celebrating Black History Month, as well as Valentine's Day and Lunar New Year.
Wednesday, February 13: Free Event, Langston Hughes in Harlem
Visit in person: 41-17 Main Street, Flushing, NY 11355 / Hours of Service / (718) 661-1200
View the full Black History Tour. / Visit the next landmark.
Fri, 2013-03-01 15:11