A pair of traveling exhibits created by Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum is helping share the legacy of Mrs. Parks, as well as other women who played key roles within the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
The exhibits, “Tired of Giving in: Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott” and “Women of the Montgomery Bus Boycott,” were made possible by a grant the museum received from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the primary source of federal support for the nation’s approximately 120,000 libraries and 35,000 museums and related organizations. The agency’s mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Its grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive.
The “Tired of Giving in: Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott” exhibit, which is currently on display at the Satsuma Public Library, provides an overview of the life and activism of Mrs. Parks and the success of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
“Women of the Montgomery Bus Boycott” utilizes oral history interviews, digitized archival material and court documents to tell the heroic stories of 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. Important grassroots political organizations such as the Women’s Political Council are also be highlighted through the exhibit. That exhibit is currently on display in Collinsville, Alabama.
Both exhibits will be available for viewing at the Ozark Dale County Library in August.
The exhibits, which are being made available for display in K-12 schools, universities, places of worship, public libraries and museums throughout the country, have been well received and are currently booked through the summer of 2022.
“We have had an overwhelming response from public libraries throughout the state, and the exhibits are traveling to all parts of Alabama,” said Donna Beisel, Assistant Director of the Museum. “All of the host sites have been very pleased and visitor feedback has been extremely positive.”
Beisel said the museum is currently having a duplicate set made so that school systems can take full advantage of them as they return to a more normal schedule this fall. Museum staff members are also available to provide presentations at host locations.
“We are pleased to be able to share the stories of these courageous women across the country through these traveling exhibits,” Beisel said.
Ray White, Vice Chancellor of TROY’s Montgomery Campus, said the traveling exhibits help to extend the Museum’s reach in carrying out its mission.
“These traveling exhibits are allowing Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum to educate children and adults, who may not be able to visit the Museum in Montgomery, about the important history of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and the actions of the women who helped end segregation. We invite all faculty — especially those from the history, sociology and social science disciplines — to use the Rosa Parks Museum as a resource for advancing their outreach and educational goals in new and creative ways.”