ACC to Host Exhibit, Events Celebrating Crystal Lee Sutton, the Real “Norma Rae”

Crystal Lee Sutton

Crystal Lee Sutton

The Alamance Community College Library will commemorate the life and work of Crystal Lee Sutton, activist, feminist, and inspiration for the Academy Award-winning film, “Norma Rae,” with an exhibit and several special events in September.  

Following her historic union crusade in the 1970s, Crystal Lee Sutton earned credentials to become a nurse aide in the 1980s at Alamance Community College. She donated her papers to the College in 2006, a few years prior to her death.

Monday, Sept. 9, 2:30 – 4 p.m. The tribute begins with a reception in the College library. Exhibits will highlight Sutton’s work as a union organizer and activist. Personal mementos that she donated to Alamance Community College in 2006 will be on display.  Instructor Roger Lane and his student ensemble will perform traditional union-organizing songs, and local musician Larry Vellani will perform.  Refreshments will be served.  

Tuesday, Sept. 10, 11 a.m. – 12 noon.  Crystal Lee Sutton’s friends and family members will share their memories of Sutton in the ACC auditorium.  Video footage of her numerous TV appearances and speaking engagements on behalf of American workers will be shown.

Wednesday, Sept. 11, 11 a.m. – 12 noon. Librarian Colleen Macklin and Scott Collection Curator Peggy Boswell will discuss the process of archiving documents and artifacts for ACC’s Crystal Lee Sutton Collection in the ACC auditorium. They will demonstrate an online keyword database that was created to organize the collection.  

The special library exhibit will be open the entire month of September. The Crystal Lee Sutton Collection is housed year-round in a special room within the ACC library.  The Alamance Community College library is located on the third floor of Gee Building at the college’s main campus in Graham.