Aug 17, 2020 2020-08-17
August 18, 2020, marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted voting rights to women in America. However, many women were still unable to vote because of restrictions related to race and ethnicity. Events on this day will mark the milestone moment, as well as the work of women who fought long after ratification to ensure that all Americans had access to the voting booth. PBS’s American Experience brings viewers an intimate look at the women who forever transformed the politics of social and political change in America. Exploring how and why millions of 20th-century Americans mobilized for—and against—women’s suffrage, The Vote, which aired on July 7, 2020, brings to life the unsung leaders of the movement and the deep controversies over gender roles and race that divided Americans then—and continue to dominate political discourse today. Students can celebrate the strategies and tactics of suffrage with She Resisted, a new interactive experience that explores the final decade of the women’s suffrage movement through its most powerful images. They can live through the epic 1913 Washington, DC, procession, in which thousands of women took to the streets to demand their right to the franchise; thrill at Ida B. Wells’s successful voter registration drive; and admire suffragists’ commitment to nonviolent resistance, which included going on hunger strikes and withstanding brutal force feedings.
Plus: Diverse communities and organizations blazed the trail for equal voting rights across the nation. For many women, especially women of color, the fight didn't end when the 19th Amendment went into effect on August 26, 1920. Yet the stories of these suffragists have often been overlooked. To mark the centennial of the 19th Amendment, the Smithsonian Institution, Library of Congress, and National Archives are collaborating to bring these stories to light on social media. From today until August 26, you can follow weekday posts to learn voting-rights history drawn from all three institutions’ collections. You can also use the Smithsonian’s set of animated social media GIFs and Instagram stickers on your social media posts to mark the centennial.