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Pauline A. Young Papers
12 linear feet
Pauline A. Young (b. 1900 d. 1991) teacher, librarian, and lecturer was a noted community leader and activist in Wilmington, Delaware. She began teaching at her alma mater, Howard High School in 1919 and later became librarian at the school, a position she held until her retirement in 1961. She had a great passion for Black history and published numerous bibliographies and book reviews to encourage awareness of Black authors and titles. She lectured extensively about Black history, especially about Blacks in Delaware and authored the chapter "The Negro in Delaware" in Delaware - A History of the First State, edited by H. Clay Reed (c. 1947). Pauline Young grew up during the period of legalized segregation and became deeply involved in the efforts for racial equality and civil rights. She joined the NAACP at age twelve and was a lifetime member serving in several positions on the local, state, and national levels. She was an active member and often served as an officer in several other community and civic organizations including the Delaware Fellowship Commission. An outspoken advocate for equality and racial harmony, Young penned voluminous letters to the editor of newspapers, to government officials and to organizations. Among the honors she received was selection to the Hall of Fame of Delaware Women. The Pauline A. Young Memorabilia Room, a repository of historical information on the Black community in Delaware, was named in her honor in 1979. The room is housed in the Old Howard High School Building that now serves as a career center.
The Pauline A. Young Papers document her life as an educator, civil rights and community activist. The papers include biographical materials about her and her family, including a small amount of information about her aunt and uncle Alice Dunbar Nelson and Paul Laurence Dunbar. The bulk of the collection focuses on her efforts in the struggle for equality and civil rights, particularly her activities with the NAACP Wilmington (DE) Branch and the Delaware Fellowship Commission. Included are correspondence, news articles, programs, reports, scrapbooks, and a few photographs. Of note is the series "Letters to the Editor" chronicling the many letters Young penned in her crusade for justice.