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In the News: History professor shares insights on ...

In the News: History professor shares insights on Memphis civil rights leader

Dr. Elizabeth Gritter, an MTSU assistant professor of history, wrote a column published recently in The Tennessean about Maxine Atkins Smith, an influential civil rights activist from Memphis who passed away April 26 at age 83.

Dr. Elizabeth Gritter

Dr. Elizabeth Gritter

Gritter, who attended Smith’s funeral, first met Smith while conducting an oral history of her in 2000 for a class project.

Her column reads in part: “Smith was unique in that she served as a visible female civil rights leader at a time when the modern feminist movement was only beginning. Although her expressed concern was civil rights and not women’s rights, she challenged persisting notions that men, rather than women, should hold the political spotlight.”

Read her entire column here.

Gritter’s forthcoming book, to be published by University Press of Kentucky, is “River of Hope: Black Politics and the Long Freedom Movement in Memphis, Tennessee: 1865-1954.”


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