The Women of the Montgomery Bus Boycott exhibit comes to Luverne Public Library

Published 3:40 pm Saturday, February 26, 2022

On display at the library from Jan. 28 until Feb. 11 was “The Women of the Montgomery Bus Boycott” exhibit from Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum. The exhibit tells the stories of women who played key roles within the Montgomery bus boycott. The display utilizes photos and graphics, oral history interviews, digitized archival material, and court documents to depict life during the Civil Rights era.

The 12-panel exhibition tells the stories of 12 heroic female figures. Among these are Jo Ann Robinson, Aurelia Browder, Claudette Colvin, Mary Louise Smith, Lucille Times, Susie McDonald, Virginia Durr, Georgia Gilmore, Coretta Scott King, Juanita Abernathy, Juliette Hampton Morgan and Jean Graetz.

Sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students from Luverne School visited the exhibit Feb. 11. Before viewing the exhibit, the students attended a presentation in the library’s conference room about the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the civil rights movement given by Donna Beisel, assistant director of The Rosa Parks Museum.

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According to Beisel, the mission of the exhibit is to showcase the lessons of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the many who stood firmly to bring about change.

“It is important for students to learn about this part of history and a lot of students don’t necessarily get a chance to come to the museum, where they can more deeply experience this history. We want to bring history to them and make them aware that there were many other people involved other than just Dr. King and Rosa Parks. We are pleased to be able to share the stories of these courageous women across the country through these traveling exhibits,” Beisel said.

Four 5”x4” information cards detailing the women in the exhibit were handed out to each student along with a fun worksheet for them to do as they toured the exhibit. 

Chloe Jackson, eighth grader at Luverne High School, enjoyed the display and was happy she and her classmates could attend the exhibit. 

“I feel that a lot of people just think of Rosa Parks as a name we read about in history class. Being here makes her feel more real and reminds us how important she and all the others really were,” Jackson said.

A grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services funded the exhibit. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s approximately 120,000 libraries and 35,000 museums and related organizations.