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Exhibit to focus on women's history

By Joey Kachel
On March 6, 2014

As part of a month-long celebration of women's history, the University of Memphis Libraries, the Department of English, the Department of History and the Center for Research on Women will be sponsoring a two-hour showcase of writings and performances from women authors, artists and activists from the 1960s. The show will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on March 18 in the McWherter Library rotunda.
The show is tied into an ongoing exhibit, "The Civil Rights Act of 1964: How Far Have We Come?" The exhibit will be on display on the first and fourth floors of the McWherter Library until June 15.
The event will feature the works of several important women of the 1960s, such as writer, educator and the first African-American congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, author of "A Raisin in the Sun" Lorraine Hansberry and the late women's rights activist Betty Friedan.
Also on the playbill is a tribute to Maxine Smith, one of Memphis' most important civil rights activists and one of the organizers of the desegregation of Memphis schools in 1962. Smith famously escorted the first thirteen African-American students to a newly desegregated school. The final list of performances is still being finalized, but performing in the event will be undergraduate and graduate students from across disciplines.
Since 1982, the Center for Research on Women has been studying the role of women in society, in the South and of color.
Jennifer Schnabel, assistant professor and assistant to the Dean for Community Engagement, is helping organize the event. She hopes that attendees will be inspired to learn more about the women being featured in the show.
"We think its important to highlight the work of interesting women of the 1960s, and we want to host it in the library to encourage attendees to explore additional resources about these women," Schnabel said.
Dr. Lydia Sagrestano, director of the Center for Research on Women, explained how the show would honor a wide variety of activists.
"It is an opportunity to bring together our celebration of Black History Month and our celebration of Women's History Month into an event that honors women of the 1960s," Sagrestano said.

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