The Relentless Pursuit of “Equal”: Integrating LSU is a gallery exhibition on display at Hill Memorial Library Lecture Hall from January 21 – March 29, 2014 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964. It traces the evolution of LSU from an institution embracing an official policy of racial segregation, to one actively promoting the concept that “cultural inclusion at LSU is paramount to the success of the university.” The exhibition is also timed to correspond with a LSU Libraries sponsored film-based public program, Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle. For more information on this NEH-funded program and the events hosted during the Spring of 2014, please visit: /sp/subjects/createdequal.
The listening station here, funded by the Williams Center Endowment, features an interactive timeline, which not only includes oral history clips from those who integrated LSU, but also features timelines from other civil rights activities in the Baton Rouge area, which contextualize the events at this university. Interview clips and other materials offer visitors access to personal, eyewitness narratives describing the 1953 Baton Rouge bus boycott, experiences with breaking color barriers on the LSU campus in the 1950s and 1960s, and East Baton Rouge civil rights activities from the 1950s through the 1970s.
Visitors are also encouraged to speak with staff about their own experiences in Louisiana during the Civil Rights Era. Please contact LSU Libraries Special Collections if you are interested in donating original materials, such as letters, photographs, oral histories or ephemera, to help build a more complete, inclusive representation of this era within the libraries’ collections. For more information about the exhibition, visit http://exhibitions.blogs.lib.lsu.edu.
All oral history interviews from which excerpts were taken are housed with the Williams Center for Oral History and are part of the LSU Libraries Special Collections Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. For specific citation information regarding each interview, please contact Center staff at http://lib.lsu.edu/special/williams/.
Some of the interviews can be found online at Center’s Civil Rights Collection on the Louisiana Digital Library: http://www.louisianadigitallibrary.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/THW/id/59
Middleton Library is now showcasing “Old Ways No More,” a web-based production featuring oral histories and other sources from LSU Libraries Special Collections that document the Baton Rouge Bus Boycott of 1953, its antecedents, and its after effects. It features audio clips from the McKinley High School Oral History Series and others within the Williams Center Civil Rights Collection. This presentation is offered as an precursor to the LSU Libraries’ upcoming film-based program, "Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle." "Old Ways" debuted at the 2003 academic conference held at Southern University in honor of the boycott’s 50th anniversary. The work is based largely on the research conducted by Dr. Mary Price for her dissertation, “Beyond Black and White: The Civil Rights Movement in Baton Rouge, Louisiana 1945-1972.” The web-based presentation was produced by Matthew Mullenix and Mary Price. For more information about the presentation, please contact the director, Jennifer A. Cramer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The exhibition was curated by Leah Wood Jewett, Exhibitions Coordinator; Barry Cowan, Assistant Archivist, University Archives; and Jennifer A. Cramer, Director, T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History (THWCOH). The physical exhibition was designed and installed by Leah Wood Jewett, with assistance from Louise Cheetham, Graduate Assistant, Exhibitions. The listening station template was implemented by Kyle Tanglao THWCOH Audio Engineer and Web Developer utilizing timeline.js from Northwestern University. Several individuals helped make this exhibition possible. The curators wish to thank the following for their assistance: Erin Hess, THWCOH Manuscript Processor; Kitty Pheney, LSU School of Art, and her students Virginia, Patterson, Melody Reah, and Andre Charitat; Mary Price and Matt Mullenix, former THWCOH staff.We appreciate the help of many other staff members for their assistance throughout various stages of planning and installation.