Springfield History Exhibits

Freedom through Their Eyes: Fifty Years of Civil Rights Perspectives in Springfield

February 2nd, 2010 through May 16th, 2010

History Theater, Second Floor

Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History

Freedom through Their Eyes: Fifty Years of Civil Rights Perspectives in Springfield

Conceived and created by ninety 11th-grade students from the Springfield Renaissance School, this exhibition features video interviews with people who played an active role in the Civil Rights movement in Springfield. Photographs of the interview subjects are also on view.


Interview subjects include:


           Dr. Ruth B. Stewart-Loving who is considered to be the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement” in Springfield. Stewart-Loving served as president of the local chapter of the NAACP from 1965-1966. 


           Charles V. Ryan, who was mayor of Springfield during the mid-’60s when the Civil Rights movement took hold of the city, will also be filmed. During Ryan’s tenure, integration of the schools through busing generated heated debate.


           Representative Ben Swan was also active in the local movement. His participation with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the NAACP included numerous Civil Rights demonstrations.


           Broadcast journalist Durham Caldwell served as news director at local radio and television stations in the area for 30 years and covered many stories related to politics, elections, education, race relations and other issues.


           Newly elected to the Springfield City Council, E. Henry Twiggs was active in the Civil Rights movement both at the national and local levels.


This student project was conducted under the guidance of Marisa M. Vanasse, M.Ed., teacher of 11th Grade U.S. History II and AP U.S. History at the Springfield Renaissance School, an Expeditionary Learning School.

View All Exhibits