August 24, 2010 at 11:58 AM
In celebration of Women's History Month, a traveling exhibit entitled "Florence Spearing Randolph (1866-1951): An Unsung Heroine of the Cloth," is on display at the Union County Freeholders Gallery. The exhibit of 22 black and white photographs and documents depicting the life of Reverend Florence Spearing Randolph is open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays through April 15 on the 6th Floor of the Union County Administration Building, on Elizabethtown Plaza at Rahway Avenue in Elizabeth.
In 1915, Reverend Florence Spearing Randolph organized and was elected president of the New Jersey Federation of Colored Women's Clubs. She emerged as a leading suffragist in Union County and the state. The impetus for the formation of the federation was the National Association of Colored Women which was founded in 1896 to champion the rights of Black women. The New Jersey Woman Suffrage Association voted to accept the organization as an affiliate in 1917.
Reverend Randolph was the organizer and pastor of the Summit-based Wallace Chapel African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Zion Church from 1925-1946. Throughout her ministry, Reverend Randolph was in the vanguard of Christian endeavors, the struggle for racial equality, women's rights and the temperance movement.
In 2004, the Alice Paul Institute and the New Jersey Historic Preservation Office listed Wallace Chapel in its first edition of the "New Jersey Women's Heritage Trail," a survey of historic places that best exemplify the accomplishments of New Jersey women. In 2007, the Church became the first Union County African American historic structure to be placed on both the National and State Registers of Historic Places.
The exhibit on display in the Freeholders Gallery, researched and developed by Ethel M. Washington for Wallace Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church of Summit, was made possible by the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State, through a grant administered through the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs.
Exhibits at the Freeholders Gallery are coordinated by the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs. For further information about the exhibit and other programs and services related to the arts and Union County history, contact the Office at 633 Pearl Street, Elizabeth NJ 07202; telephone (908) 558-2550; NJ Relay users dial 711; or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org