Exhibits on Pearl Cleage and "Revealing Her Story" highlight collections of nine African American women

Published 10-26-2015

by Michaela Whatnall

The "Revealing Her Story" exhibit focuses on nine African American women intellectuals, including Pearl Cleage, Delilah Jackson and May Miller. All exhibit images courtesy Robert W. Woodruff Library, Emory University.

Two exhibits featuring the stories of nine African American women intellectuals are now open on Level 2 of Emory University’s Robert W. Woodruff Library. “Revealing Her Story: Documenting African American Women Intellectuals” and “Pearl Cleage: A Time for Reflection,” which offer a look into the collections of these distinctive women, are the culmination of a two-year processing project.

The collections of the nine women – Pearl Cleage, Delilah Jackson, Samella S. Lewis, Almena Lomax, May Miller, Undine Smith Moore, Geneva Southall, Mildred Thompson, and Sarah E. Wright – were processed with funding from a National Historical Publication and Records Commission (NHPRC) grant.

Amber L. Moore, a project archivist at Emory’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, and four graduate students, worked on the collections. The team processed more than 270 boxes of materials that include correspondence, writings, compositions, photographs, and audiovisual materials.

The accomplishments of the nine women, including Samella Lewis, Almena Lomax and Mildred Thompson, are highlighted in the exhibit "Revealing Her Story."

Moore hopes that the exhibits will entice researchers to visit the archives to learn more about the lives of these extraordinary women and their contributions as artists, writers, educators, composers, musicians, and activists, and more.

“This project has been such a transformative and empowering experience for me,” she says. “I’ve seen the ups and downs, struggles, triumphs, growth, and accomplishments of other women of color through their own eyes. They are just like me. I have the remarkable job and responsibility to make sure that others have the same chance to be inspired.”

The exhibit panels provide details on the nine women, along with information on how to access EmoryFindingAids, the online collection inventories. The collections of the nine women are accessible to researchers and the public by appointment at the Rose Library.
The exhibit panels feature images of materials from the collections of the nine women, including Geneva Southall, Sarah E. Wright and Undine Smith Moore.

“Revealing Her Story” was previously featured in Emory’s Administrative Building and on the 7th floor of the Woodruff Library. “Pearl Cleage: A Time for Reflection” was shown earlier this year at the Woodruff Arts Center through a collaboration with Emory’s Rose Library and the Alliance Theatre. That display coincided with the theater’s production of “Blues for an Alabama Sky,” a play written by Cleage, who is also a novelist and activist. The Cleage exhibit was co-curated by Moore and Pellom McDaniel III, curator of African American collections at the Rose Library.

The exhibits are free and open to the public. The Woodruff Library at Emory University is located at 540 Asbury Circle in Atlanta, 30322. Parking is available in the Fishburne deck. The exhibits, open during visitor library hours, will be on view through February 28, 2016.

For media inquiries, contact: