The Relentless Pursuit of ‘Equal’: Integrating LSU exhibit opens Jan. 21

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, LSU Libraries Special Collections presents “The Relentless Pursuit of ‘Equal’: Integrating LSU,” an exhibition tracing the evolution of LSU from an institution embracing an official policy of racial segregation, to one actively promoting the concept that “cultural inclusion at LSU is paramount to the success of the university.


The exhibit will be on display from Jan. 21 through March 29 in the lecture hall of Hill Memorial Library.

Items on display in the exhibition come from the libraries’ Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections and give testimony to the focused, unflinching efforts – against virulent opposition – of many people over many years to achieve equal access to higher education at LSU. These include original records highlighting the work of New Orleans attorney A. P. Tureaud Sr., a key figure in the desegregation of public institutions around the state. Student applications, official university memoranda and contemporary newspaper accounts flesh out the story.

Accessible via an interactive listening station, a timeline and interviews offer visitors access to personal, eyewitness narratives describing the 1953 Baton Rouge bus boycott, experiences with breaking color barriers on the LSU campus in the 1950s and 1960s, and East Baton Rouge civil rights activities from the 1950s through the 1970s.

Visitors are also encouraged to speak with staff about their own experiences in Louisiana during the Civil Rights Era. Please contact LSU Libraries Special Collections if you are interested in donating original materials, such as letters, photographs, oral histories or ephemera, to help build a more complete, inclusive representation of this era within the libraries’ collections.

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