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Amistad’s Newest Exhibition Highlights Women in New Orleans

Dorothy Mae Taylor (left) and two women campaigning for Ernest Morial.

Amistad’s newest exhibition, Divergent Roads: The Historical Paths of Women Leaders in New Orleans, illuminates the role of African American women in shaping the history of New Orleans. The exhibition is based upon Amistad’s popular 2017 blog series of the same name that showcased the historical contributions of women in the Crescent City. The women to be highlighted are educators Fannie C. Williams and Lucille Hutton; civil rights activists Dorothy Mae Taylor, Oretha Castle Haley and Doris Jean Castle; artists Jessie Dent and Sybil Kein; and organizations The Links, Inc. and the Alpha Beta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Amistad is a partner of NOLA4Women, an organization made up of community allies that seeks to take action through innovative programs that celebrate women and girls, to provide a forum to address the challenges they face, and to promote a future where they have the opportunity to reach their full potential. It is as a NOLA4Women collaborator that Amistad has decided to create an exhibition that fosters the goals of the organization’s “Builders and Rebuilders” model, a paradigm which seeks to place the lives and voices of women in New Orleans at the forefront of the city’s historical narrative.

As educators, businesswomen, civil rights activists, leaders, etc., women have been essential to the development of New Orleans since its founding in 1718. Without their efforts, fortitude, and hard work, the city would not have evolved into the metropolitan behemoth that it has become today. This exhibition draws upon the rich library and manuscript collections at the Amistad Research Center to showcase the achievements of women that have shaped the citizens of this great city. The exhibition is on display in the Center’s mezzanine exhibition gallery from April 3 – May 31, 2018. Public hours are 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday - Friday and 9:00 am to 1:00 pm Saturday. The exhibition is free.

Image from the Ernest Morial papers. Images from Amistad’s website, newsletters, and blogs cannot be reproduced without permission.

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