What to Read, Watch, Listen and Do to Celebrate the Women’s Vote Centennial
by MEGAN O’NEILL MELLE
link to Original Article in Parade Magazine: click here
Women’s suffrage is a story of revolution, of women wielding their collective power to change history, and this August (recently designated as National Women’s Suffrage Month), the nation will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote. Here’s how to take part in the historical celebration.
What to Listen to During the Women’s Vote Centennial Celebration
(Bonnie Biess/Getty Images)
To Podcasts: The Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission (womensvote100.org), developed to tell more diverse stories about the suffrage movement, is showcasing a variety of voices in its current and upcoming programming, including And Nothing Less: The Untold Stories of Women’s Fight for the Vote, a podcast co-hosted by Rosario Dawson and comedian Retta, and The Magic Sash, a historical fiction kids podcast, is hosted by Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman. nps.gov
Another thoroughly educational podcast option is She Votes!, which is hosted by Pulitzer and Peabody-winning female journalists Lynn Sherr and Ellen Goodman and digs into the complex history of the women’s suffrage movement and its enduring significance. shevotespodcast.com
(Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
To Legendary Female Political Figures: On August 17 at noon, the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Celebration (WSCC) will partner with Twitter to host a keynote address featuring Hillary Clinton in conversation with author Elaine Weiss and moderated by the Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, the first woman (and the first African American) to ever hold the position. womensvote100.org
On Aug. 20, the WSCC will host a virtual conversation with Mary Anne Carter, National Endowment for the Arts Chairman, titled “Creativity and Persistence: Art that Fueled the Fight for Women’s Suffrage.” Register for the webinar here.
To Songwriters: And on Monday, Aug. 24, Nashville based all-female singer-songwriter collective, Song Suffragettes, will partner with the WSCC to host a livestreamed performance from The Listening Room starring Runaway June. Live stream here.
What to Watch to Celebrate the Women’s Vote Centennial
(WALTER MCBRIDE/WIREIMAGE/GETTY IMAGES)
PBS: Part of the long-running PBS American Experience series, The Vote (featuring the voices of Mae Whitman, Laura Linney and more) is a four-hour, two-part documentary series that recounts the arduous march to the ballot box and the racial, political and cultural obstacles that stood in the way. Available for streaming this August at pbs.org.
What to Read to Celebrate the Women’s Vote Centennial
Historical Fiction: In Stories From Suffragette City, out Oct. 27, 12 of historical fiction’s biggest names (including Paula McLain, Lisa Wingate, Dolen Perkins-Valdez and edited by Fiona Davis and M.J. Rose) have released a collection of short stories all taking place on October 23, 1915, when thousands of women marched in New York City. $26
About Diversity: We know Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, but the story of women’s suffrage is incomplete without women of color, working class and immigrant women. Finish the Fight! (August 18) by Veronica Chambers and the staff of The New York Times highlights the less recognized women who fought for enfranchisement. $19
About History: Looking for a wealth of material on the suffrage movement in the form of a well-paced novel (with intriguing portraits of its bold leaders)? Look no further than distinguished historian Ellen Carol DuBois’s Suffrage, an exploration of the dramatic and inspiring movement to secure women’s right to vote. $26
With the American Library Association: In partnership with the WSCC, ALA is distributing 18,000 women’s suffrage youth books to 6,000 libraries across the country, including Around America to Win the Vote (Mara Rockliff), The Woman’s Hour: Our Fight for the Right to Vote (Elaine Weiss) and National Park Service Women’s Suffrage Reader. ala.org
How to Get Involved in the Women’s Vote Centennial
(by artists Sandra Chevrier and Shepard Fairey)
With Murals: In Tennessee (the final state to ratify the 19th amendment), an all-female team of artists is installing a series of murals called Walls for Women—from McMinnville to Nashville—with portraits of suffragists, yellow roses (the symbol of the movement) and themes of female empowerment. Other art-focused tributes have popped up on walls in Mississippi, Texas (pictured above), Pennsylvania and more.
(courtesy the National Archives)
With Landmarks: “Forward Into Light.” Those words, stitched upon the banner often carried by suffragist and labor lawyer Inez Milholland, inspired the “Forward Into Light” Campaign, which will light San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, New York’s Statue of Liberty, St. Louis’ Gateway Arch and other buildings and landmarks across the country in purple and gold (the colors of the National Woman’s Party) on August 26.
With Suffragists: Head to Mount Rushmore for a temporary outdoor exhibit called Look Up to Her, which will use projection mapping to add the faces of suffragists alongside presidents. Dates are pending.
The Van Buren sisters
With the Centennial Motorcycle Ride: Postponed to July 31, 2021, beginning in Portland, this cross-country ride (with bikers wearing replica purple suffrage sashes, of course) celebrates the Van Buren sisters, who in 1916 became the first women to each ride their own motorcycles across the U.S.
How to Support the Women’s Vote Centennial by Shopping
The 19th Amendment Pin Set features the popular “Votes for Women” slogan and the blue bird, a symbol issued by the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association in 1915. $18, shop.nypl.org
Support the U.S. Postal Service and commemorate the suffragists who marched for voting equality with the 19th Amendment Women Vote Forever Stamp. Sheet of 20 for $11, usps.com
Women-owned Seattle Chocolate and illustrator Libby VanderPloeg partnered to create the You’re My Hero Dark Chocolate Truffle Bar (with crunchy toffee and sea salt) with packaging that honors the suffragists. $4.50, seattlechocolate.com
We love these Suffragist Magnets featuring African American suffragists and abolitionists Ida B. Wells, Sojourner Truth, Mary McLeod Bethune and Mary Church Terrell, who were committed to women’s right to vote, even as their voices were often marginalized or silenced. $18, womensvote100.com