Celebrate Black History at the Library

Photo exhibit, new ProQuest resource offer insight into the resilience of Black families

ProQuest has created a free resource featuring expertly selected open primary source documents. Visitors will find historical newspaper articles, pamphlets, diaries, correspondence and more from specific time periods in U.S. history marked by the opposition African Americans have faced on the road to freedom. The content is curated around six time periods: 1. Resistance to Slavery and the Abolitionist Movement (1790-1860) 2. The Civil War and the Reconstruction Era (1861-1877) 3. Jim Crow Era from 1878 to the Great Depression (1878-1932) 4. The New Deal and World War II (1933-1945) 5. The Civil Rights and Black Power Movements (1946-1975) 6. The Contemporary Era (1976-2000)


About the Exhibit

Through difficult times in history, African American families have relied on their foundation of faith, hope and love to survive. During the era of slavery, faith was important and the church offered a place of solace. Even in the depths of trying times, landmarks portrayed in this month’s art exhibit at the Round Rock Public Library offered that comfort.

The year 2020 brought many challenges to the African American community, locally and across the United States. The Black Lives Matter movement changed the country and shifted conversations about police, social injustice and structural racism. The Covid-19 pandemic tested African American families’ limits; as data shows, African American people die from Covid-19 at two times the rate of their white peers.

Visit the Round Rock Public Library throughout February to see Melissa Fontenette-Mitchell’s photo exhibit, African-American Family: Faith, Hope, Love, and the Backbone of Strength.

Fontenette-Mitchell Family

Ernestine Sauls Dimry

Pat Anderson

Hope Anderson

Leona Anderson

Ernestine Sauls Dimry

The Sauls Family can track their origins in Round Rock back to 1879, when Wade Sauls Sr. was born to former slave parents. One of his granddaughters, Ernestine Sauls Dimry Davis, graduated from Hopewell School (the segregated Round Rock school for Black students which was open from 1922 to 1966. Davis worked as a registered nurse for 58 years in the Austin area.

Pat Anderson

Pat Anderson, a 1971 Round Rock High School graduate, served for many years on the board of the Round Rock Black History Organization. She recently passed away.

Hope Anderson

Pat Anderson’s daughter, Hope R. Anderson, received a degree in Design Engineering from Grambling State University. She returned to Round Rock in 2004, and was an instructor at Huston-Tillotson College and a designer at 3M.

Leona Anderson

The matriarch of the Anderson Family, Leona Anderson, worked for many years for Round Rock ISD at Deepwood and Voight Elementary Schools. A tree was planted in her honor at Deepwood Elementary, where she was employed at the time of her death.