Hooks Institute Dual Exhibit Will Highlight the Historical and Contemporary Importance of Voting Rights

September 13, 2018 - The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis invites you to experience "Uplift the Vote: Everyone Should Have a Voting Story," a dual exhibit on the importance of our most basic civil right – the right to vote. Explore through photographs, documents and reflections, how African Americans' demand for the right to vote in Fayette County, Tenn., in 1959 changed the lives of activists, the community and the nation through the exhibit. Then, prepare yourself for your own civic participation and learn how to register to vote in Tennessee. The "Uplift the Vote" exhibit coincides with the collaboration between the Hooks Institute and the University of Memphis Student Government Association to hold a voter registration week at the university from Sept. 18–25. Additionally, through Sept. 21, an interactive panel will provide UofM students the opportunity to submit questions for the upcoming Oct. 2 gubernatorial debate hosted by the UofM. This exhibit is intended to educate and encourage citizens to exercise the right to vote, hard-won by African Americans and others.

The exhibit will be in the rotunda of the Ned McWherter Library on the University of Memphis campus Tuesday, Sept. 18–Monday, Nov. 12, from 7 a.m. to midnight. For weekend and holiday hours, visit Libraries Hours of Operation. The exhibit is closed to the public on Thursday, Sept. 20, for a Donor and Friends Reception from 5:30–8 p.m.
This exhibit is free and open to the public. Convenient paid parking available at the public garage on Zach Curlin Street.

About the "Uplift the Vote" Exhibit

Fayette County, Tenn., 1959: The African American community faces Jim Crow laws, intimidation and violence in their efforts to register to vote. The New York Times described the civil rights movement in Fayette County as "the longest sustained civil rights protest in the nation." During that movement, African Americans worked to increase registered voters and demanded fair elections, integration of public facilities and equal access to economic opportunities.

The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change extends its sincere gratitude for the following sponsors of this exhibit: OMO Energy & Technology, Inc.; the UofM's African and African American History program, Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, Department of History, Department of Political Science, Student Government Association, Department of Theatre & Dance and University of Memphis Libraries.

About the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change
The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute implements its mission of teaching, studying and promoting civil rights and social change through research, education and direct intervention programs. For 20 years, we have addressed disparities related to education, diversity and inclusion, economic mobility and civic engagement. To learn more about current initiatives, visit Ben Hooks Institute for Social Change.

Nathaniel C. Ball | 901.678.3655 | ncball@memphis.edu