Date of Award

Spring 5-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Dr. Mary Mitchell

Second Advisor

Dr. Charles Chamberlain

Third Advisor

Dr. Andrea Mosterman


New Orleans Historical is a project of the Midlo Center for New Orleans Studies in the History Department of the University of New Orleans. This thesis and tour presents and discusses the “Ladies First” tour which contains seven tour stops on New Orleans Historical. The tour chronicles seven women and girls who have advanced the cause of equal rights and justice in the metropolitan region of New Orleans, Louisiana between 1950 and 1975. This thesis examines the work of seven key figures: Rosa Keller, Doratha “Dodie” Simmons, Marie Ortiz, Sybil Morial, and Dorothy Mae Taylor; and participants in the Civil Rights Movement, two young Black girls, Leona Tate and Ruby Bridges. These seven women’s activism centered on three principal areas: for education, resistance to segregation, and political participation.

Keywords: Activism, African American, Black, Civil Rights Movement, Women, Girls, New Orleans, Segregation, Integration


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.