During the civil rights movement, more than eighty Freedom Libraries were established throughout the Deep South, with the vast majority in Mississippi. They provided library services and materials for many Black citizens who had no access to public libraries that, even if desegregated, found ways of refusing service. In October 1964 the Freedom House in Vicksburg was bombed and its Freedom Library effectively destroyed. Volunteer librarian Bryan Dunlap wrote to his father, Joseph Dunlap of Leonia, New Jersey, for assistance in rebuilding the library. Dunlap responded by sending eight boxes of books and forming the Leonia-Vicksburg Committee to support the work in Vicksburg. Early the next year, members of the Committee and others formed the Friends of Freedom Libraries “to disseminate information about these libraries and to encourage assistance for their needs.” This article examines their motivations, activities, and results utilizing social dominance theory and identity theory.

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