UofM’s Hooks Institute and Fayette County Public Schools to Host Exhibit on Civil Rights Movement

January 23, 2020 - The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis and Fayette County Public Schools will host the experience “Uplift the Vote: Everyone Should Have a Voting Story,” an exhibit on the importance of our most basic civil right – the right to vote. The exhibit shows through photographs, documents and reflections, how African Americans’ demand for the right to vote in Fayette County, Tenn., in 1959 helped to create a more just and inclusive nation.

The exhibit will be on display at the Fayette County Public Schools Central Administration Building, 10425 Hwy. 76 S., Somerville, Tenn. It will be open Feb. 3-March 6, Monday through Friday, from 2-4 p.m., as well as two Saturdays, Feb. 15 and 29, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Daphene McFerren, Hooks Institute executive director, will be the guest speaker at noon on Feb. 15 and Feb. 29. On Feb. 15, a reception for the public will follow her talk.

This exhibit is free and open to the public.

About the “Uplift the Vote” Exhibit
Fayette County, Tenn., 1959: The African American community faces Jim Crow laws, intimidation and violence in its efforts to register to vote. In 1969, 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 exhibit’s sponsors include Leadership Fayette, the Somerville Police Department, The Bank, Fayette County Public Schools, AARP, Print Solutions and the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change.

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, it has addressed disparities related to education, diversity and inclusion, economic mobility and civic engagement. To learn more about current initiatives, visit memphis.edu/benhooks.

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