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The Relentless Pursuit of “Equal”: Integrating LSU

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On Exhibition January 21 – March 29, 2014 in the Hill Memorial Library Lecture Hall

Clipping from Daily Reveille, 1953 A. P. Tureaud, Sr. and Jr., upon latter’s impending registration as LSU’s first African-American undergraduate.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, LSU Libraries Special Collections presents an exhibition tracing LSU’s evolution from an institution embracing an official racial segregation policy to one actively promoting the concept that “cultural inclusion at LSU is paramount to the success of the university.” Items on display give testimony to the focused, unflinching efforts of numerous people over many years, against virulent opposition, to achieve equal access to higher education at LSU.

Original records present the work of New Orleans attorney A. P. Tureaud Sr., a key figure in the desegregation of public institutions around the state. Student applications, official university memoranda, and contemporary newspaper accounts bring life to the story.

An interactive listening station presents a timeline and interviews, with 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 encouraged to speak with staff about their own experiences in Louisiana during the Civil Rights Era. Contact LSU Libraries Special Collections if you are interested in donating original materials, such as letters, photographs, oral histories or ephemera, to help LSU Libraries build a more complete, inclusive representation of this era within its collections.

The Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections (LLMVC) is recognized as one of the nation’s premier repositories of historical documents materials relating to the antebellum plantation, Civil War, and Reconstruction South and includes the papers of individuals and families, records of plantations, merchants and financial institutions, and the files of political, social, and labor organizations. Also rich in materials related to the political history of the region, LSU Libraries Special Collections continue to collect materials related to the region’s social, economic, political, cultural, literary, environmental and military history.

Hill Memorial Library is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. When classes are in session, the library is open Tuesday evenings until 8 p.m. During the week, paid parking is available at the Visitors’ Center, Memorial Tower and Mike the Tiger’s Habitat. For more information, visit the LSU Libraries Special Collections website  or call 225-578-6544.

Sigrid Kelsey is the Director of Library Communications and Publications at the LSU Libraries.

Posted in Announcements

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Contact Special Collections

Public Services Desk: (225) 578-6544

Reference Desk: (225) 578-6568

Fax: (225) 578-9425

Email: special@lsu.edu

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