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Ida B. Wells is one of the historical figures featured at the exhibit.


African American History is rich with legacies of individuals who broke the color barrier to change the world as we know it. In celebration of African American History Month, and some of these heroes, the Norfolk Public Library is featuring a new doll exhibit during the month of February. “The Right to Vote” exhibit, created by Atlanta, Georgia-based doll designer, Andrea Hodges-Johnson, owner of Dolls by Andi, is on view at the Jordan-Newby Anchor Branch Library, located at 1425 Norchester Avenue in Norfolk.

The exhibit features dolls created in the likeness of Civil Rights activists who pioneered for voting rights for the African American community. The showcase consists of Frederick Douglass, Ida B. Wells, Shirley Chisholm, and Fannie B. Hamer. The exhibit also highlights one of Norfolk’s most notable civil rights activists, Evelynn T. Butts. Butts was a relentless community and political activist who lived most of her life in Norfolk. Butts is widely known for a lawsuit she filed in 1963 with her attorney, Joseph A. Jordan Jr., against the unconstitutionality of Poll taxes. Poll taxes were part of a package of laws throughout the post-Reconstruction South in the late 1800s and early 1900s that were aimed at denying the voting rights of African Americans.

The Jordan-Butts case was combined with another lawsuit brought forth by northern Virginia residents, and on March 24, 1966, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that poll taxes were an unconstitutional violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, and that "Voter qualifications have no relation to wealth nor to paying or not paying this or any other tax.

View the exhibit during open hours at the Jordan-Newby Anchor Branch Library. For a complete list of African American History Month events, visit the Library’s website at

About Norfolk Public Library:

The Norfolk Public Library offers access to information, books, programs, and online resources to meet the needs of our diverse community for life-long learning. The library system consists of one main library, ten branch libraries, two anchor branch libraries, and a Bookmobile. All programs are FREE of charge. Visit or call us at (757) 664-READ for more information. NPL- Creating a City of Readers.

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