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Mapping the Long Women’s Movement is an experiment with indexing, using, and ultimately understanding oral history in new ways. The project began with the Southern Oral History Program’s work on the “long civil rights movement,” an approach to civil rights scholarship that posits the movement as longer, broader, deeper, and more diverse than it is conventionally understood. That approach took researchers to eastern Tennessee, where over three years they conducted interviews with dozens of people who became grassroots and labor activists, blazed new trails for women, or simply took charge of their own lives in dramatic ways. As they worked in their communities—forming consciousness-raising groups, establishing health centers, opposing environmental degradation, and working for civil rights and gender equality—they joined networks of activists and created new spaces where women (and some men) could work for change.

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