Women of the Movement: Leaders for Civil Rights and Voting Rights

women of the movement graphic
The exhibit, Women of the Movement: Leaders for Civil Rights and Voting Rights, currently on display on the 4th floor lobby of the Walter C. Langsam Library, profiles female leaders of the fight for civil and voting rights. Beginning with Sojourner Truth, former slave and abolitionist, and including contemporaries Diane Nash, a key player in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Cincinnati’s Marian Spencer, a champion for Civil Rights both locally and nationally, the exhibit spans history into current times.

Included in the exhibit are women instrumental to the Suffrage fight – Sojourner Truth who worked closely with Susan B. Anthony; Mary Church Terrell, founder of the National Association of Colored Women in 1896 as part of the Suffrage Movement after black women were excluded from the Women’s Suffrage Movement; and Mary McLeod Bethune who led voter registration drives following passing of the 19th Amendment.

Civil Rights activists on display include Fannie Lou Hamer, who famously said, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired;” Daisy Bates, an integrated schools advocate; and Ida B. Wells, a journalist, educator and one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The exhibit’s design is inspired by a recently created ArtWorks mural in Cincinnati’s Avondale neighborhood honoring Louise Shropshire, composer of the hymn, “If My Jesus Wills,” that became the well-known mantra “We Shall Overcome” during the Civil Rights Movement. Louise Shropshire’s papers are located in the Archives and Rare Books Library.

Women of the Movement: Leaders for Civil Rights and Voting Rights was curated by June Taylor-Slaughter, public services supervisor in the Geology-Mathematics-Physics Library, and was designed by Michelle Matevia, UC Libraries communication design co-op student. A handout is available at the exhibit with more information on the women featured in the exhibit.

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