Exhibit Dates: January 26, 2023 – June 30, 2023 Exhibit Location: Barham Rotunda
Black History Month gives the Queens College Library the opportunity to celebrate and honor the efforts of QC students and faculty who sought social justice for all by their participation in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, especially the Mississippi Freedom Summer in 1964. Starting in 2009, Queens College Library’s Special Collections and Archives (SCA) began collecting materials from alumni, faculty, and community members involved in these movements that now constitute part of the Civil Rights Collection of the photographs, printed materials, and miscellanea seen in the present exhibition documenting experiences of the participants that speak to the courage and optimism as well as to the rich history of QC activism during the civil rights movement.
In 1989, the QC library clock tower was dedicated to the memory of James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman (a QC student), and Michael Schwerner, civil rights activists who were murdered during the Congress of Equality’s (CORE) Freedom Summer project of 1964 by members of the Ku Klux Klan. Their deaths have inspired countless others to continue the struggle for equality and justice for all Americans.
The inclusion of materials supporting Women History movement in the exhibition bridges the coordinated efforts of the suffragists across centuries and countries for abolitionism and women’s rights by demanding change to the voting laws. The suffragists understood the persuasive power of language and utilized postcards to spread their textual information; propagated visibility through marches and campaigns; and contributed to political empowerment through the visual arts (posters, collages, buttons, et al) to connect to the great and just causes of human history in order to disseminate their message. Their sense of energy and urgency established a new and formidable expression in the world that ultimately changed cultural perceptions and reshaped the discourse of American democracy for the better.
Resources for Women’s History Month by Nancy Foasberg, Librarian for Women and Gender Studies
The QC Library celebrates Women’s History Month in March by gathering and presenting resources related to a specific aspect of women’s history. Last year’s guide focused on women’s suffrage and voting rights, a theme designated by the National Women’s History Alliance.
The Women’s History Month 2022 guide features resources related to the history of reproductive rights. While not only women need access to reproductive health care, the history of reproductive rights is essential to women’s history.
We also acknowledge the reproductive rights of transgender people and plan to highlight resources related to transgender health care in a future guide.
The guide covers a broad range of issues related to reproductive rights, including abortion, birth control, sex education, childbirth practices, and coercive “population control.”
Documentary film:The Abortion Hotline(2016). In Chile, where abortion remains illegal and punishable by imprisonment, we follow a group of young activists who put their lives at risk to run an underground abortion hotline.
Book: Reproductive Rights and the State: Getting the Birth Control, RU-48, and the Gardasil Vaccine to the U.S. Market (2013). Reproductive Rights and the State: Getting the Birth Control, RU-486, and Morning-After Pills and the Gardasil Vaccine to the U.S. Market tackles a subject that remains controversial more than 60 years after “the pill”; was approved for use in the United States. The first book to examine the politicization of the FDA approval process for reproductive drugs, this study maps the hard-fought battles over the four major drugs currently on the U.S. market.
Book: Three Generations, No Imbeciles: Eugenics, the Supreme Court, and Buck v Bell(2010). “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” Few lines from Supreme Court opinions are as memorable as this declaration by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. in the landmark 1927 case Buck v. Bell. The ruling allowed states to forcibly sterilize residents in order to prevent “feebleminded and socially inadequate” people from having children. Though Buck set the stage for more than sixty thousand involuntary sterilizations in the United States and was cited at the Nuremberg trials in defense of Nazi sterilization experiments, it has never been overturned.
Primary Source Collection: Reproductive Rights: U.S. Supreme Court Cases. A list of significant cases of national prominence over the years. There are cases involving the reproductive rights of individuals, including the right to use contraception, plan a family, rear children, and gain access to reproductive healthcare. This site links to the full text of the U.S. Supreme Court decisions.