Civil Rights

Miles Vanderhorst Lynk

Jun 26, 2014

Miles Vanderhorst Lynk had an historic career, pioneering for minority rights in the Mid-South medical community. 

UNC Press

Host Jonathan Judaken talks with author and professor Amy Wood about her book, Lynching and Spectacle: Witnessing Racial Violence in America, 1890-1940.  In her book, "Wood examines how lynching, as a spectacle, borrowed much from the practice of public executions that still occurred in the early 1900s. Lynching was also shaped by the traditions of evangelical Christianity.

Special Collections, University of Memphis Libraries

When Maxine Smith was born in Memphis in 1929, the city was segregated by race.

Smith graduated from Booker T. Washington High School at age 15. She attended Spelman College in Atlanta, where she knew Martin Luther King, Jr., who had also graduated high school early and was attending the nearby Morehouse College.

“He was a nerd,” Smith recalled years later.

Smith earned a Master’s degree at Middlebury College in Vermont and taught college level French.

Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University is one of this country's most prominent historians.

Frances Dancy Hooks

Feb 24, 2012

February 23rd is the birthday of a remarkable woman, Frances Dancy Hooks. In 1949, Mrs. Hooks, wife and steadfast partner of the late Benjamin Hooks, began a career in education that would span 24 years.

Miriam DeCosta-Willis

Feb 22, 2012 / The Pink Palace Family of Museums

Dr. Miriam DeCosta-Willis is a writer, scholar, and university professor. She has defined her life by her passion for learning and her commitment to equality.

Maxine Atkins Smith

Feb 5, 2012

Maxine Smith has spent her life working for racial equality and excellence in education. 

On October 3rd, 1961, thirteen African-American children walked into formerly all-white schools in Memphis. Unlike other cities, Memphis schools desegregated without violence; and first-graders—not high-schoolers—broke the color line. There’s a new documentary out about the event. Reverend Samuel "Billy" Kyles is in the movie. Kyles remembers bringing his daughter to the doors of Bruce Elementary School 50 years ago today.