The Courage of African-Americans

ABC's Rob Nelson visits an exhibit highlighting African-American women.
2:09 | 02/29/12

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Transcript for The Courage of African-Americans
Well today marks the end of February and with that Black History Month which makes our next story especially tightly absolutely what do you think of the civil rights struggle too often the women who played important part in -- -- Somewhat forgotten and an exhibit I checked out though seems to change all of that. These are the most celebrated voices. I have prayer the most famous images. We didn't land on whenever throughout. -- what landed on us. But here in this room in Harlem the spotlight shines in -- part of black history American history often relegated to the cracks of pop culture -- -- small print textbooks. This wonderful exhibit here is us as a story about African American struggle for freedom and justice in this country going all the way back to. -- Harriet Tubman slave period and -- whipped through civil rights and black power era. And it's you know tells a story -- not been told before. Since 2008 this exhibit known as freedom sisters has traveled the country and now makes its twelfth and final stop in New York City. At the Malcolm X and doctor Betty Shabazz memorial and educational center. A celebration of Black History Month and also women's history month in March it's an interactive collage of the lies of twenty African American female pioneers past and present. Educators activists politicians journalists all of whom further. They represented major river of American -- history -- a major river. Of America the story of American freedom that has not been told before. If we think of all of these women. They'll lives touched the lives of everybody else. Featured are well known icons like Coretta Scott King doctor Betty should -- and Harriet Tubman a soldier of the underground railroad. But up from the ground also -- these stories Shirley Chisholm the first African American woman elected to the US House of Representatives and the first African American to run for president Charlayne hunter Gault. A decorated journalist who helped integrate the University of Georgia Sonia Sanchez and university professor and renowned poet. And -- Watkins harper one of the first abolitionist speakers of the eighteen hundreds all of these women trailblazers and crusaders and proof that progress. Is defined by greatness not gender. -- national struggle for human rights struggle for all people. And the exhibit here definitely shows the contribution that women but he -- that women have played in this vote. He's actually hot because you know we Stalin's day every day the stuff now any kind of put fighting fat and -- keep going you know -- that. That woman in this than they did send me. Women now have rights and be -- Even this very room is steeped in history at this very spot back in February 21 1965. Malcolm X was assassinated. But here through this exhibit in the center that bears his name is the legacy of the civil rights movement. Their lives on. The future of the exhibit which was put together by the Smithsonian and the Cincinnati museum center. Remains unclear it shares the stage though with other new civil rights landmarks the MOK monument in Washington DC. -- the national museum of African American history and culture set to open in three years in the nation's capital. In the meantime mark Harding takes pride in the exhibit that he oversees knowing freedom's sisters -- finally getting their due respect in the family of civil rights heroes. We don't know the story about Rosa Parks refused to give a proceed on the bus and what that led to -- but viewed -- as exhibit two is there's so many. Other women here who may not be as well no but still contributed so much -- in a room -- of -- giants. -- actually right rob. You know these women these twenty women are representative of women from different eras in American history and from different parts of the country and from different. Different ways of lives and their bravery that courage. Both in terms of their relationship to that community. And relationship to the wider American society. Really change the world. Fascinating as a great story around and humbling and Sharon to be in that aren't well absolutely I mean just the -- surrounded by these incredible women and some of those -- I didn't know I didn't know I went there and learn digit lead said in the -- I mean if you do learn about Harriet -- credit Scott king in. And then -- -- aggravation vestige -- are so many other women who have done so many things they -- twenty scholars think these toy but they said. Scores or hundreds he could pick from so you wanna go would get -- here. In Harlem seven days a week free of charge that -- to April 22 so if you're in town. Go check it out learn something as -- -- for sure I'll absolutely fascinating.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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