Women's History Month: She Rock the Vote

“Now all we need is to continue to speak the truth fearlessly, and we shall add to our number those who will turn the scale to the side of equal and full justice in all things.”

Lucy Stone

‘Suffrage’ means the right to vote in a political election. In the past, people were banned from voting because of age, gender, race,  education,  wealth and social status. There was a time that a woman could not vote just because she was a woman.

In the late 19th and early 20th century, women began standing together to get the right to vote. This is now referred to as the suffragist movement. Women organized to form groups to bring attention their cause.

World War I changed roles many women played. It was one of the events that sparked a more planned effort for equal opportunity. On August 26, 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment was added to the Constitution of the United States. It allowed for women to have the same voting rights as men. The Nineteenth Amendment says:

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Nineteenth Amendment -U.S. Constitution

If you are curious about how it all went down, check out the books below.

Books @ Women’s Right to Vote

Vote! : women’s fight for access to the ballot box / Coral Celeste Frazer

August 18, 2020, marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, which prohibited states and the US government from denying citizens the right to vote on the basis of sex. See how the 70-year-long fight for women’s suffrage was hard won by leaders such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul, Carrie Chapman Catt and others. Learn how their success led into the civil rights and feminist movements of the mid- and late twentieth century, as well as today’s #MeToo, #YesAllWomen, and Black Lives Matter movements. In the face of voter ID laws, voter purges, gerrymandering, and other restrictions, Americans continue to fight for equality in voting rights.

The women’s rights movement / Eric Braun

Women have come a long way since the first women’s rights convention took place in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848–but women’s rights activists are still working to expand rights today. What are the main concerns of women’s rights activists today? And what challenges have women faced in the 1800s, 1900s, and 2000s in their fight for equality? Find out how Susan B. Anthony, Betty Friedan, and other groundbreaking activists paved the way for the women’s rights movement today. And learn how activists are working with groups that speak out for the rights of racial minorities and members of the LGBTQ+ community to expand rights for all.

Roses and radicals : the epic story of how American women won the right to vote / by Susan Zimet

The United States of America is almost 250 years old, but American women won the right to vote less than a hundred years ago.

And when the controversial nineteenth amendment to the U.S. Constitution – the one granting suffrage to women – was finally ratified in 1920, it passed by a mere one-vote margin.

The amendment only succeeded because a group of women had been relentlessly demanding the right to vote for more than seventy years. The leaders of the suffrage movement were fearless in the face of ridicule, arrest, imprisonment, and even torture. Many of them devoted themselves to a cause knowing they wouldn’t live to cast a ballot. This is their story


Votes for women! : American suffragists and the battle for the ballot 
/ Winifred Conkling

For nearly 150 years, American women did not have the right to vote. On August 18, 1920, they won that right, when the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified at last. To achieve that victory, some of the fiercest, most passionate women in history marched, protested, and sometimes even broke the law—for more than eight decades.
 
From Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who founded the suffrage movement at the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention, to Sojourner Truth and her famous “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech, to Alice Paul, arrested and force-fed in prison, this is the story of the American women’s suffrage movement and the private lives that fueled its leaders’ dedication. Votes for Women! explores suffragists’ often powerful, sometimes difficult relationship with the intersecting temperance and abolition campaigns, and includes an unflinching look at some of the uglier moments in women’s fight for the vote.
 
By turns illuminating, harrowing, and empowering, Votes for Women! paints a vibrant picture of the women whose tireless battle still inspires political, human rights, and social justice activism.

Wheels of change : how women rode the bicycle to freedom (with a few flat tires along the way) / Sue Macy

Take a lively look at women’s history from aboard a bicycle, which granted females the freedom of mobility and helped empower women’s liberation. Through vintage photographs, advertisements, cartoons, and songs, Wheels of Change transports young readers to bygone eras to see how women used the bicycle to improve their lives. Witty in tone and scrapbook-like in presentation, the book deftly covers early (and comical) objections, influence on fashion, and impact on social change inspired by the bicycle, which, according to Susan B. Anthony, “has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.”

Perfect 36 : when women won the vote Streaming Video

In July of 1920, all eyes were on Nashville, Tennessee as anti- and pro-suffragists fought for their vision of a socially evolving United States. This program chronicles the dramatic vote to ratify the 19th amendment granting women the right to vote, and the years of debate about women’s suffrage that preceded it. On July 17, 1920, Carrie Chapman Catt, President of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, arrived to spend a few days in Nashville. She was traveling on the heels of Tennessee Governor A.H. Roberts’ announcement of a special session of the state legislature, called at the urging of President Woodrow Wilson. Catt’s few days dragged into weeks at her headquarters in the Hermitage Hotel, where pro- and anti- suffragists continued to clash in what came to be known as the “War of the Roses.”  On August 18, 1920, the House convened. After two consecutive 48-48 outcomes to table the resolution, it was put to a vote. At the last minute, 24-year-old freshman representative Harry Burn recalled a letter from his mother received that morning, urging him to, “be a good boy” and grant women the right to vote. In spite of wearing a red rose, Burn swung his vote, making Tennessee the deciding 36th state to enable passage of the 19th Amendment.

Videos @ Women’s Suffrage

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