Women’s History Month: Stockton University Tells ‘HerStory’ With Exhibit

AC JosepH Media

GALLOWAY –  The late Dr. Vera King Farris, the first African American president at Stockton University, business owner and philanthropist Rita Mack and Dr. Barbara Gaba, the first Black female president of Atlantic Cape Community College, are being honored in an exhibit at Stockton University Atlantic City opening March 9.

The “Talking About HERstory” exhibit, in recognition of Women’s History Month, focuses on African American Women in South Jersey. Curated by Anne Taylor Glapion, “Talking About HERstory” will be on display in the John F. Scarpa Academic Center main lobby and is open to the public.

The exhibition is sponsored by the Stockton Atlantic City Campus Operations, Stockton Atlantic City Residence Life and African American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey.

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“The story of women’s suffrage was told by white suffragists,” said a statement on the exhibit’s website hosted by Stockton. “Black suffragists wanted the right to vote but they also wanted to address issues like equal rights and lynching. They protested and marched with white suffragists until they were told to march separately or at the back of white suffrage parades.

“They were effectively erased from the history of the movement in the ‘official,’ and universally accepted, History of Woman Suffrage written by Elizabeth Cady Stanton. This time, white female voices were lifted up, but blacks were again left out of the story. The African American History Museum of Southern New Jersey recognizes the need to inspire the youth of our community by telling our stories.”

Photo courtesy of Stockton University.

Those featured in the exhibit include:

Mary McLeod Bethune: An educator, stateswoman and advocate for human equality, she established Bethune-Cookman University.

Anna Land Butler: Atlantic City teacher and Harlem Renaissance poet.

Carole Byard: A visual artist, educator, and member of the Black Arts Movement whose art depicted the spirit and struggle of African Americans Laoma Byrd Owner/Operator of a training facility for world class boxers in Pleasantville N.J. Rosalind Cash Movie, stage, and television actor who refused to play stereotypical roles. 

Margaret Lee: Caution A printer, journalist, and distributor of African American newspapers in South Jersey.

Margaret Creswell Hiawatha: First African American police officer in the country.

Dr. Dorothie Dorrington: A public school teacher focused on children with learning disabilities, and a leader in the Atlantic City community.

Dr. Vera King Farris: An outstanding scholar, scientist, and first African American President of Stockton University.

Jesse Redmon Fauset: NAACP Crisis Magazine editor and novelist.

Dr. Barbara Gaba: First African American female president of Atlantic Cape Community College.

Redenia Gilliam Mosee: Rose from chambermaid to casino executive; changed the Boys Clubs of America to Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

Dr. Richlyn Goddard: Atlantic City historian and author and founding director of the Veterans’ Oral History project.  

Dr. Jean Thomas Griffin: Outstanding scholarship took her from working in the family restaurant business to the upper echelons of the academic world.

Pattie Harris: Danced with Larry Steele’s Smart Affairs at Club Harlem, mentored students who wanted to dance professionally.

Dr. Juanita High: Made a difference as a teacher and effective administrator of social programs that benefited the community.

Barbara L. Hudgins: First African American woman elected to the Atlantic City Council.

Louise Forrest Johnson: Choreographed dance productions funded scholarships for college bound students.

Joanna LaSane: First African American model in a national TV ad for Pepsi Cola; an actor, dancer, and arts advocate.

Jarena Lee: Born free in Cape May, New Jersey, and the first woman authorized to preach in the A.M.E. church.

Amaza Lockett: A teacher and musician who served the community through her sorority, church, and Lincoln University affiliations.

Rita Mack: Successful entrepreneur and mentor dedicated to community service and philanthropy.

Gertrude E. Newsome: Proprietor of Newsome Guesthouse, a Northside Inn that welcomed African American tourists during segregation.

Rosa Parks: Refused to give up her seat to a white passenger; her arrest sparked the Montgomery Alabama bus boycott.

Amy Hester: Reckless Escaped from slavery in Salem, New Jersey and worked for the abolition of slavery and women’s rights.

Sojourner Truth: Escaped slavery to become an abolitionist and equal rights advocate, Gave “Ain’t I a Woman” speech.

Harriet Tubman: Called “Moses” because she led hundreds of slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad.

Dr. Beverly Vaughn: Mezzo-soprano, debuted with the Graz, Austria opera, Stockton University Professor whose choral productions lift community spirits.

Sara Spencer Washington: Her Apex Hair and News Company employed thousands and made her a millionaire.

Sister Jean Webster: Beloved by the community for feeding the homeless without regard to the toll on her health and finances.

Ida B. Wells-Barnett: Journalist who wrote about lynching in America, was in the forefront of the fight for suffrage and civil rights, and founding member of the NAACP.

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