Parsons Public Library will host “Wichita’s Dockum Drugstore Sit-In,” a Black History Month presentation and discussion by Prisca Barnes, at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the main area of the library.
Space is limited to 30 and pre-registration is required.
In July 1958, Black students gathered at Wichita’s Dockum Drugstore to stage a peaceful protest against the unequal practice of segregation. Although this protest was not publicized in the newspapers in 1958, the students participating in the demonstration worked to gain access to public spaces like movie theaters and restaurants.
Barnes’ presentation discusses the details of the sit-in, explores how these protests helped transform the struggle for racial equality, and considers contemporary nonviolent protests.
Barnes is the founder of Storytime Village Inc., a nonprofit organization in Wichita that promotes reading among low-income children and families. She is a passionate advocate for equity in education and literacy.
“The Dockum Sit-in was one of the first student-led lunch counter protests of the civil rights era, and it happened here in Kansas,” Barnes said. “It’s important to revisit its circumstances, particularly as we recognize the event’s 60th anniversary.”
“The Dockum Drugstore Sit-In” is part of Humanities Kansas’ Movement of Ideas Speakers Bureau, featuring presentations and workshops designed to share stories that inspire, spark conversations that inform and generate insights that strengthen civic engagement.
Members of the community are invited to attend the free program, which will take place at the library, 311 South 17th St. Anyone wanting more information or to reserve a seat can contact the library at 421-5920.