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The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

Features thousands of biographic and thematic essays on Jewish women around the world. Learn more

Harriet Tanzman

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Harriet Tanzman until we are able to commission a full entry.

Harriet Tanzman assists two women injured on "Bloody Sunday," March 7, 1965, Selma, Alabama.
Photograph by Bob Fletcher. Reprinted with permission.

Harriet Tanzman has become a chronicler of the civil rights movement, creating new entry points into civil rights history. Tanzman had participated in some civil rights activities, but the assassination of JFK in 1963 galvanized her to quit graduate school and work in the Atlanta Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee office. She taught literacy and other skills to locals in Selma and worked on a Southern Conference Educational Fund project in New Orleans. She went on to join the antiwar movement and pursue a career in progressive, alternative media through San Francisco Newsreel Films, the Guardian, and WBAI-Pacifica Radio. As of 2014, she has been working to produce a travelling historical exhibit, symposia, cultural performances, and workshops based on accounts of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, the Mississippi Freedom Labor Union, and other community organizing efforts within the civil rights movement.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Harriet Tanzman." (Viewed on March 26, 2023) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/tanzman-harriet>.


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