Gathering Sat Nov 18 12:30 to honor Tarea Hall Pittman and New Signage at S. Branch

Tarea Hall Pittman 1903-1991

The installation of a handsome permanent sign with the name Tarea Hall Pittman added to “Library” and of an informational exhibit about this Berkeley African-American civil rights leader will be celebrated by a gathering at the Tarea Hall Pittman South Branch Library at 1901 Russell St [corner of MLKing Jr.]  on Sat., Nov. 18, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

The gathering will also celebrate the late Charles Austin whose community organizing campaign led to the renaming of the library and won him the League’s “Spirit of the League Award” in 2016.

A future larger program is planned for next year according to Heather Cummings, Supervising Librarian, Berkeley Public Library.

Charles AustinSee Berkeleyside story here.

See our story about Charles Austin here.




The Press Release from the Library reads as follows:

Cake & Community: Celebrate Tarea Hall Pittman South Branch Library’s New Sign

Berkeley, October 27, 2017—Berkeley Public Library invites community members to celebrate the Tarea Hall Pittman South Branch’s new exterior sign with coffee, cake, conversation, and the musical entertainment of jazz musician Leon Williams, on Saturday November 18, 2017, from 12:30-1:30 PM at 1901 Russell Street in Berkeley, California.

Tarea Hall Pittman South Branch Library was renamed in 2015 for local civil rights advocate and community resident Tarea Hall Pittman. Ms. Pittman came to Berkeley to attend the University of California in the 1920s. A tireless advocate for social justice, Ms. Pittman worked to force Kaiser Shipyards to hire African Americans, and to desegregate the Oakland Fire Department. A community leader, she was active in numerous organizations including the NAACP, the California Council of Negro Women and the Negro Education Council. Ms. Pittman may be most widely known as the host of the long-running KDIA radio program “Negroes in the News,” which broadcast positive news about the African American community into the 1970s.

Charles Austin (1939-2017), a South Berkeley resident and Library neighbor, led the effort to rename the Library in Ms. Pittman’s honor, and the name was changed in 2015.

This September, library staff facilitated the installation of a beautifully fabricated sign in honor of the Library’s namesake. Please join us for this casual community get-together with cake and coffee to celebrate the new sign, and to honor Ms. Pittman’s and Mr. Austin’s legacy.

For questions regarding this program, please call 510-981-6263.

This free program is sponsored by the Berkeley Public Library Foundation

The Tarea Hall Pittman South Branch is located at 1901 Russell Street, Berkeley, 94703, and is open: Monday, 10:00 am-6:00 pm; Tuesday and Wednesday, 10:00 am-8:00 pm; Thursday 12 noon -8:00 pm; and Friday and Saturday, 10:00 am-6:00 pm.

This program is wheelchair accessible. For questions, to request a sign language interpreter or other accommodations for this event, please call (510) 981-6195 (voice) or (510) 548-1240 (TTY); at least five working days will help ensure availability. Please refrain from wearing scented products to public programs. Visit the library’s website:

Contact: Heather Cummins ,Supervising Librarian
Berkeley Public Library




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