|"They call this a movement, but we havent seen much movement yet," nationally known activist and attorney Flo Kennedy told a group gathered for a potluck at the New Orleans Saratoga Street Commune in 1977 (exhibit item 41). Her words influenced many in Louisiana, but, even before she spoke, Louisiana women had begun a series of forceful and creative actions that would indeed make a movement.
This exhibit highlights their work as shown through artifacts, posters, photographs, ephemeral materials, manuscripts, and records found within the Newcomb Archives at the Center for Research on Women. From the time of its founding in 1975, the Center collected materials on the second wave of feminism with an understanding of how quickly history is forgotten, but also as part of its day-to-day work. Now 25 years later, we feel quite privileged to gather together some of the images and voices from the 1960s to the 1980s.
We have divided the exhibit cases in the Seltzer-Gerard Reading Room to reflect on political, economic, and cultural lives. The display case on the second floor combines materials from all these facets. Overall the exhibit pieces represent just a fraction of collections ripe for study. *
*We have used materials here from the Muriel Arceneaux Collection, the Pat Denton Collection, the Maurice Durbin Collection, the Mary Gehman Collection, the Felicia Kahn Collection, the Francine Merritt Collection, the Mindy Milam Collection, the Darlene Olivo Collection, the Karlene Tierney Collection, and the New Orleans Womens Caucus for Art. Additional collections that reflect upon changes in the status of women and in individual lives of women are the Emily Card Collection, important for an interpretation of changes in womens economic status: the Emily Griffith Collection, important for a look at the balance of family and professional work; the Jacqui Michot Ceballos collection, important for a look at the womens movement as experienced by a Louisiana woman living in the northeast and active in the founding of NOW; the Lee Grue Collection for an incredible array of correspondence and records about poetry and the lives of women; and the Cheron Brylski Collection, important for a look at politics in the1980s and 1990s. The Sheila Tobias Book Collection is also important for its wide coverage of materials used in her work for numerous books, including Faces of Feminism.