o Traveling Exhibition Honoring African American Women opens in Cincinnati During National Women’s History Month
o Exhibition Utilizes Interactive Technology to Tell the Story of Twenty Extraordinary Women
o Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), Cincinnati Museum Center and Ford Motor Company Collaborate to Present Historical Exhibition
It would be difficult to imagine the course of American history without them: Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad; Rosa Parks and her brave refusal in 1955 to relinquish her seat on a Montgomery city bus; Fannie Lou Hamer and her courageous stand at a 1968 political convention. These stories of courage and commitment are among the many featured in the “Freedom’s Sisters” exhibition, a collaboration between the Cincinnati Museum Center, Ford Motor Company and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES). The interactive exhibition showcases 20 extraordinary African American women and opens its three-year national tour at the Cincinnati Museum Center March 15. It remains there until Sept. 14, and then travels to eight additional cities, including Memphis, Tenn., Birmingham, Ala., Dallas and Detroit. A variety of engaging, educational and community outreach components will facilitate the involvement of local audiences.
“From Mary McCleod Bethune to Dorothy Height, the stories in ‘Freedom’s Sisters’ will surely inspire and motivate all Americans, especially younger visitors,” said Jim Vella, Ford Motor Company Fund President. “We are deeply proud to be a part of this important, educational and uplifting exhibition that honors these individuals and the causes that they served.”
“The inspiring stories of these women should be told and told again,” said Cincinnati Museum Center president and CEO Douglass W. McDonald. “Cincinnati Museum Center is honored to create this extraordinary exhibit and can only hope that we can provide an extension to the legacies of these strong, courageous and trailblazing women.”
“These 20 women left not a footnote but a footprint on American history,” said SITES Director Anna R. Cohn. “Many of their stories may not be well known, but their roles and contributions were monumental in shaping our country and its conscience.”
The exhibition has been embraced by a prestigious National Committee of Honor. Members of the Freedom’s Sisters Committee of Honor include Quincy Jones, Mae Jemison, General Colin Powell, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Cathy Hughes, Sheila Johnson, Elizabeth Eckford, Johnetta Cole and a wide range of national dignitaries, reflecting the exhibitions broad appeal.
Organized around four themes – “Dare to Dream,” “Inspire Lives” “Serve the Public” and “Look to the Future” – “Freedom’s Sisters” is designed especially as an educational tool targeting students. Historical simulations and interactive displays are being set up to drive home messages and meanings central to each woman’s life.
Ella J. Baker Barbara Jordan
Constance Baker Motley Mary McLeod Bethune
Shirley Chisholm Rosa Parks
Mary Church Terrell Sonia Sanchez
Septima Poinsette Clark Coretta Scott King
Kathleen Cleaver Betty Shabazz
Myrlie Evers-Williams Harriet Tubman
Fannie Lou Hamer C. Delores Tucker
Dorothy Height Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
Charlayne Hunter-Gault Ida B. Wells