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Harriet Tanzman

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.

Harriet Tanzman, March 7, 1965
Full image
Harriet Tanzman assists two women injured on "Bloody Sunday," March 7, 1965, Selma, Alabama.
Photograph by Bob Fletcher. Reprinted with permission.
Date of Birth
Place of Birth
Brooklyn, New York

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Harriet Tanzman." (Viewed on December 15, 2018) <>.


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