Jean Lewis Miller was a Bay area feminist lesbian activist and Berkeley Public Library employee. Her papers largely cover
political and legal struggles with the city of Berkeley. The collection also contains suffragist literature, unpublished manuscripts
and personal documents.
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of Special Collections.
Jean Lewis Miller was a Bay area feminist lesbian activist. Miller was an early participant in Women's Liberation as a member
of Women of the Free Future and Women in Solidarity. She worked part-time as an employee of the Berkeley Public Library. In
1971 she was fired for writing a published article in the Berkeley Post to expose sexism and racism in the library. After
25 women marched on the Board of Directors meeting, she was reinstated, and dedicated herself to serving women's needs within
the library through her self-created Women's Project. This group was later discontinued by the library after her formation
of the Berkeley Women's Affirmative Action Union. After public protest, Miller became the first person arrested at a City
Council meeting. Thereafter, she endured a nine day hunger strike in Santa Rita, was jailed a second time, was fired and jailed
a third time; from which charges she was acquitted, but jailed for contempt of court. Jean filed a lawsuit in federal court
charging sex discrimination and political retaliation in 1974. Years later, the case was dismissed. In 1980, Miller died after
a two month battle with cancer.
1.5 linear feet
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