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LSU Libraries Pay Homage to Four Black Trailblazers in New Exhibition

LSU Libraries has a new exhibition on display for a limited about of time. Watch to learn more about the four pioneers whom made a huge impact on LSU.

______________________________________________________________________ LSU Libraries have a new exhibition honoring the significant contributions of the four Black LSU pioneers.


The new exhibition is called “The Legacies They Built: Honoring Pinkie Gordon Lane, Lutrill and Pearl Payne, and Julian T. White.”It’s located on the first and second floors of the Hill’s Memorial Library.


The four legacies achieved significant milestones at LSU between 1951 and 1971.

Pinkie Gordon Lane was Louisiana’s first Black Poet Laureate in 1989 and the first Black woman to earn a doctorate from LSU. In 1967, she earned a PhD in English.


Lutrill Payne was the first Black graduate student to matriculate at LSU, working with Pearl Payne, his wife, to break down the barriers of LSU’s Graduate School for the future.

Pearl Payne was the first Black woman to earn a master’s degree in education, and Julian T. White was one of the first Black licensed architects in Louisiana and LSU’s first Black professor.


Exhibitions Manager for LSU Libraries Special Collections Leah Wood Jewett says that one of her favorite artifacts in the exhibit is the one where “one of Dr. Pinkie Gordon Lane’s friends sent her a telegram congratulating her when she graduated with her Ph.D.”


Jewett says, “Her friend says, ‘Some people are great because they’re first. You’re first because you’re great.’”


The exhibition will remain on display through December 2023 and is free and open to the public.


For more information on each of the pioneers, visit the website at https://guides.lib.lsu.edu/LegaciesTheyBuilt.

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