Cossitt Library is a public treasure on our riverfront's Promenade, and Inger Upchurch is a staunch guardian of this historic property - the first public library (1893) in Memphis. On April 29th, she will be honored at Tri-State Defender
4th Annual Women of Excellence Awards, and FfOR will be there to applaud! FfOR is a member of Friends of Cossitt which is represented on the board of Friends of the Library of Memphis and Shelby County. And we are friends of Inger Upchurch!
A lifelong Memphian, Inger Upchurch has a strong sense of place and Cossitt Library's place in the history of Memphis, including Cossitt's being the first Tennessee Literary Landmark, recognizing its role in advancing the career of author Richard Wright (1908-1960). In the 1920s Wright was denied access to the segregated library. Through the help of a white co-worker, he used a "fake" library card to access Cossitt's books, a story he recounts in his famous autobiography Black Boy
. "It would have been impossible for me to have told anyone what I derived from these novels, for it was nothing less than a sense of life itself," he wrote. To read "The Library Card," click HERE
Please join us in congratulating Inger Upchurch for her honors so well-deserved!
E-mail: Inger Upchurch at Upchurchi@memphislibrary.org