Windy city educator, Charlemae Rollins

Charlemae Rollins
Sun, 1897-06-20

Charlemae Hill Rollins was born on this date in 1897. She was an African American library administrator and educator.

She was born in Yazoo City, Mississippi, the daughter of Allen G. and Birdie Tucker Hill. When she was a young girl, her family moved to Oklahoma before it became a state. She was educated in St. Louis, MO., and Holly Springs, MS. She also attended Howard University and taught for a short period of time. Rollins joined the staff of the Chicago Public Library in 1926. When the George C. Hall Branch of the Chicago Public Library opened in January 1932, Rollins was put in charge of the children's department.

Rollins led a lifelong crusade to change the image of African-Americans in children's literature and promote the publication of books about the African-American experience in American life and culture. She gained national attention in 1941 by editing “We Build Together: A Reader's Guide to Negro Life and Literature for Elementary and High School Use,” an annotated bibliography of children's books about African-Americans published by the National Council of Teachers of English. She died February 3, 1979, in Chicago, Illinois.

Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia
Volumes 1 and 2, edited by Darlene Clark Hine
Copyright 1993, Carlson Publishing Inc., Brooklyn, New York
ISBN 0-926019-61-9

To Become a Elementary School Teacher

Person / name: 

Rollins, Charlemae