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Black Women: Achievements Against the Odds

October 21, 1984 – June 30, 1985

Location: Anacostia Neighborhood Museum, 2405 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave., SE

Photographs, artifacts, a slide show, and films form an exhibition that examines the contributions of 113 American black women in such areas as government, education, fine arts, civil rights, medicine, law, and industry. The women represent the world-famous as well as the little-known and include poet Phillis Wheatley, former Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare Patricia Roberts Harris, educator Nannie Helen Burroughs, the first female editor-in-chief of the Boston University Law Review Clara Burrill Bruce, author Maya Angelou, sculptor Edmonia Lewis, and businesswoman Eartha M.M. White.

The continuously running, narrated slide show, Sketches from Life, includes biographical vignettes of antislavery suffragettes Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, and Ida B. Wells Barnett; Maggie Lena Walker, the first black female banker; Rosa Parks, who refused to sit at the back of the bus in Montgomery, Alabama; and Marjorie McKenzie Lawson, appointed a D.C. municipal judge by President John F. Kennedy.

Five of the women are featured in films that can be screened in the exhibition area: Mahalia Jackson, Leontyne Price, Maya Angelou, Alma Thomas, and Lorraine Hansberry.