During fall semester 2013, eight William & Mary students took the course Out of the Shadows: Women of the Civil Rights Movement – a Lemon Project course taught by historian Jody L. Allen. The course was developed with two basic premises in mind. First, “the modern Civil Rights Movement arose in earnest when forces of change that had been percolating at the local level for decades gelled.” Second, the success of the Movement, typically attributed to men, was greatly indebted to the countless women who galvanized their communities to resist oppression and demand justice.
While the students—Lauren Apicella, Nicole Chung, Michael Ryan Feeney, Jessica Lipford, May (Maizie) Nelson, Chelsea Balentine Patton, Kristen Scully, and Katherine (KK) Slayton—studied women from all over the country, their final project focused on eight local women who contributed and are still contributing to the betterment of life on the Peninsula.
Little known, as is the case for far too many of the women who worked in the trenches, these eight Peninsular women worked in their communities and brought about change from which we all still benefit. The women featured in the exhibit are Clara Byrd Baker, Alleyne Blayton, Miriam Carter, Norvleate Downing-Gross, Edith Heard, Mary Peake, Eula Radcliffe, and Jessie Rattley.
Images of the exhibit are available from Swem Library on Flickr.
Exhibit design: Jennie Davy, Burger Archives Specialist, with assistance from Andrew Cavell, SCRC Graphics Assistant, Katie Sullivan, Undergraduate Student Assistant, and Anna Wallace, Undergraduate Student Assistant.