an exhibition celebrating the dedication of the
Rosa Keller Branch
Part I

Throughout her long life, Rosa Keller worked with energy and conviction to further the cause of equality for African-Americans and for women and to improve the quality of life for all citizens in her community. The items displayed here give only a glimpse of the many contributions she made through her active involvement in causes and in organizations that serve the city of New Orleans and beyond. Not shown, but equally as noteworthy as any of those achievements that are exhibited, are her efforts to effect the peaceful desegregation of the New Orleans public schools. Keller was a founding member of Save Our Schools, a group of white, middle-class New Orleanians, many of them women, who came together between 1959 and 1961 to combat threats by the Louisiana Legislature and the Orleans Parish School Board to close the City's public schools. In 1961, she financed the successful lawsuit that desegregated Tulane University. She also served on the boards of Dillard University, the Urban League of New Orleans and the National Urban League, the YWCA, and was a founding member of the Independent Women's Organization and the Committee of 21.
I can't tell you exactly why I did it.
It came from a very strong impulse inside me.
I'd had everything I wanted all my life.
I lived very comfortably
and I knew there were people who didn't.

--Rosa Freeman Keller, 1991

Rosa Keller

[Opening Page] [Introduction] [Part I] [Part II] [Part III]