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Don’t Let 2020 go by Without Insisting on Something More than “Business as Usual”

by Marguerite Kearns

There’s a network linking us together during 2020. SuffrageCentennials.com is part of it. But the roots go deeper than what’s immediately apparent. The year 2020 is being celebrated across the nation, not because of corporate funding, not because certain so-called party leaders haven’t been deeply invested in partisan politics. And not because a centennial celebration of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution just “happened.”

We’re celebrating 2020 as a turning point in the United States because thousands of concerned citizens drew the line and said “Enough is enough! We’re not going to let 2020 come and go without a peep.”

Remember the corporate cigarette ad in the past lobbying women to smoke cigarettes? They claimed we’d come a long way and should be glad we did. Why go “all the way” when we’ve already come a long way?

Sorry, but we aren’t spending our free time smoking cigars.

WHAT ARE OUR CHOICES?

BUSINESS AS USUAL doesn’t cut ice with women and others today who no longer accept a second class role. We can do better, and not with another round of candidates who claim we can’t do better and should be satisfied with less. Those parroting the themes of the old boy network may spout a loud line, but underneath they’re reinforcing the old adage, “Stay in your place. Women can’t win.”

We can make 2020 a turning point. Don’t sign up to reinforce the old and tired position that we can’t.

THE  TOUGH QUESTIONS

Are we going to accept another century without women having equal rights under the US Constitution? Are we planning to keep marching into the sunset with the word “please” stuck in our throats? Are we going to continue marginalizing the accomplishments of those who have sacrificed and struggled for dignity and human rights in generations before us? How much longer will we tolerate blatant attempts to suppress the popular vote or eliminate voters from the rolls?

HOW MUCH LONGER ARE WE WILLING TO BE DUPES?

How far are we willing to go in support of a future where we’re no longer rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic? How much longer will the old boy network continue its condescending attitudes, including not opening up the tunnels of power and sharing chairs at conference tables when it’s urgent to work together and ensure a safe future for the planet and its diverse living forms?  How much longer will we grin and bear social policies that put women and others down and tell us that we’ve “come a long way” when an increasing number realize finally that it’s time to go “all the way?”

The clock is ticking.

Follow SuffrageCentennials.com during 2020.

A lot of news for 2020 is available on Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

Suffrage Wagon News Channel for news & views of the women’s rights movement on Vimeo.

Honor an early women’s rights activist during 2020. Check out the perks associated with featuring our US suffrage martyr, Inez Milholland.

The centennial web site for Inez Milholland has been updated. Check it out!

During Women’s History Month in March, I’m honoring my grandparents—Edna Kearns and Wilmer Kearns—for whom women’s rights represented a family affair. Intergenerational activist started before me, and it will continue after me.

Start at home, and let’s spread our wings to our community, the nation, and internationally. I’ve been blogging about my grandparents since 2009. I’m completing a memoir during 2020 as a way for me to honor them. It will be published in 2021. Check out Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

 

 

This entry was posted on February 28, 2020, in Blog.

Plan to visit “Convention Days” in July 2020 in Seneca Falls, New York!

The Introduction: Susan B. Anthony & Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Amelia Bloomer! on Vimeo.

Convention Days in Seneca Falls, New York will be big this year.  JULY 17, 18, & 19, 2020.

The community has laid out plans for the entire year of 2020. It’s a “go to” place during the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution. This basic educational video, “The Introduction,” features Amelia Bloomer’s introduction of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, It also shows some of the tourist locations in Seneca Falls, NY.

Introductions are important. Seneca Falls, NY has a statue commemorating the historic introduction of Amelia Bloomer when she brought together Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

REMEMBER THE PAST AND CARRY IT OVER INTO THE PRESENT AND FUTURE!

Supporters of 2020, the national suffrage centennial, have been introducing each other and networking like never before. We’re doing this, as well as lobbying, establishing our own organizations based on human values, and more, rather than relying on partisan politics that promote certain special interests over others. Behind the scenes, US citizens are establishing a parallel network based on cooperation when facing the challenges before us. This is urgent NOW!

 

Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel during 2020.

SuffrageCentennials.com has been publishing since 2013.

Happy Valentine’s Day during 2020, the US suffrage centennial!

Happy Valentine’s Day. This message is to send love to the tens of thousands of US women who worked for generations to win the right to vote and to strengthen  the effort to expand civil rights to the nation’s women. We need to hear this because of the present-day stubborn and fierce resistance to completing this unfinished social revolution.

The podcast, below, features writing from Doris Stevens about Inez Milholland, the US suffrage martyr. Don’t forget Susan B. Anthony’s 200th birthday on February 15th.

Check out the updates to the web platform, InezMilhollandCentennial.com

This site was launched in 2016 to commemorate the 100 years since Inez Milholland’s death in 1916. Now there’s a Colorado sculptor who is looking for allies to support her in constructing a statue of Inez on her horse.

The above link is an audio recording from “Jailed for Freedom,” the 1920 book by suffrage activist and writer Doris Stevens where she highlighted Inez Milholland’s last public appearance in California on behalf of women’s rights.

SUFFRAGE UPDATES IN THIS CENTENNIAL YEAR OF 2020

For news of a wrap-up of events, topics, and controversies during 2020, the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, go to one of our sister sites  Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

The news channel celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2019. Back when the news channel started posting, there were few links and feature postings about the early women’s rights movement. Nowadays there are so many events and topics of interest, it’s impossible to feature them all.

Because the Suffrage Wagon News Channel is a labor of love from Marguerite Kearns, you can expect there’s a great deal of material available about the early women’s rights movement. She’s working on completing a book about her suffrage activist grandparents—Edna Kearns and Wilmer Kearns. Marguerite’s upcoming memoir is scheduled for publication in 2021. For the Kearns family, suffrage activism was a family affair. Visit the SuffrageWagon.org blog and sign up for news updates.

Watch for the next special program at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe.

Suffrage Wagon Newsletter coming soon. Are you ready to follow the Spirit of 1776?

Thinking about a special program for 2020? Consider Inez Milholland, the US suffrage martyr. STOP BY InezMilhollandCentennial.com

There’s also a blog where you can stay on top of updates about Inez. Also check out: InezMilholland.wordpress.com

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The 2020 Suffrage Centennial Gathers Steam…

100 Years | 100 Women—

Don’t miss a day of talks and performances at the Park Avenue Armory in NYC on February 15, 2020 by noted artists, thinkers and cultural leaders as they explore the complex legacy of the 19th Amendment one hundred years after its ratification. Participants include photographer and scholar Deborah Willis, actor-activists Kathleen Turner and Tantoo Cardinal, spoken-word performer Caridad De La Luz “La Bruja”, vocalist Martha Redbone, visual artist Renee Cox, performance artist Karen Finley, and community organizer De’Ara Balenger and many others.

This Symposium launches 100 Years | 100 Women, an initiative of Park Avenue Armory, with lead partner National Black Theatre, and nine major cultural institutions including, The Apollo Theater, The Juilliard School, La MaMa Experimental Theatre Company, The Laundromat Project, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of the Moving Image, National Sawdust, New York University (Department of Photography and Imaging, Tisch School of the Arts; Office of Global Inclusion, Diversity and Strategic Innovation; and Institute of African American Affairs & Center for Black Visual Culture), and Urban Bush Women, who will collectively commission one hundred artists who self-identify as women to respond to this significant anniversary.

Purchase tickets now ($15, plus fees) to attend individual sessions or purchase a Day Pass ($45, plus fees) to attend the entire day.

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Get the updates about the US suffrage martyr, Inez Milholland, at InezMilhollandCentennial.com

The “Spirit of 1776” suffrage campaign wagon used by Edna Buckman Kearns and others will be on exhibit in the lobby of the New York State Museum in Albany, NY starting in March, Women’s History Month, and continuing throughout the summer of 2020. Check for updates at Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

This entry was posted on February 9, 2020, in Blog.

Susan B. Anthony’s 200th Birthday in 2020, plus other suffrage centennial notes!

It is Susan B. Anthony’s birthday on February 15th.

Susan B. Anthony: The first militant suffragist on Vimeo.

A big annual fundraiser to benefit the Susan B. Anthony is scheduled to celebrate Susan B. Anthony’s 200th birthday with a special dinner and fundraiser on February 12, 2020 at the Joseph A. Floreano Riverside Convention Center in Rochester, NY.  Dinner is at 6 PM with a reception and cash bar.

The evening will feature the keynote speaker, Tena Clark, the author of Southern Discomfort. She is also a Grammy award-winning musician and composer. Celebrating Susan B. Anthony’s birthday is a tradition that started in Anthony’s lifetime. Reserve your table or individual seats.

On March 2, 2020 at 7 pm, there will be a reading of the play, Susan B., at Berkeley Rep’s Peet’s Theatre in downtown Berkeley, California. The reading will open the Bay Area Women’s Theatre Festival. This will be a three-month event (a couple of shows per weekend), and the Susan B. reading will be the opening event, along with a reception. More information available later on this SuffrageCentennials.com site.

Check out the blog devoted to Inez Milholland, the US suffrage martyr. It has updates, including news, including the renaming of Mt. Discovery in the Adirondacks to Mt. Inez. InezMilholland.wordpress.com was launched in 2016 to accompany the 100th anniversary of the death of Inez Milholland during a lecture tour she made to theWest coast of the US. Make checking the news on InezMilholland.wordpress.com part of your regular schedule.

Are you planning an event celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution? Consider building a program around Inez Milholland. There’s a 15-minute documentary film from Wild West Women to show; plus a Gazette tabloid available from the Women’s History Alliance (check their web store), and many souvenirs and related memorabilia also available from the Women’s History Alliance web store.

With resources like this available, your role would be to set a date, find a location, get out the publicity, and coordinate the resources that are available now. It’s a terrific program for an organizational fundraiser.

Follow SuffrageCentennials.com during 2020.

“Stamping for Suffrage,” What Kenneth Florey Predicted!

THE SUFFRAGE STAMP PUBLISHED BY THE US POSTAL SERVICE FOR 2020…

Kenneth Florey is the author of books on suffrage memorabilia. Ken has written for Suffrage Wagon News Channel in the past about the importance of the US Postal Service in recognizing the centennial of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution in some way. In his columns, Florey urged the US Postal Service to publish and distribute a suffrage centennial series. As Ken also predicted, the national postal service could also issue a single stamp. That’s what happened. Below: Examples of past stamps.

US postage

KEN FLOREY’S PAST PREDICTIONS ABOUT A SUFFRAGE CENTENNIAL STAMP!

by Kenneth Florey

Given past practice, it is highly likely that the US Postal Service will commemorate the 2020 centennial anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote. Doubtless it will issue at least one postage stamp honoring “Votes for Women,” if not, more probably, a “souvenir sheet,” containing a variety of stamps picturing different elements of the movement.

In 1948, for example, the postal service printed a stamp honoring the “one hundred years of progress of women” featuring images of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and Carrie Chapman Catt. In 1970, the PO distributed an issue for the 50th anniversary of the suffrage amendment picturing a “votes for women” touring car that was so popular during the campaign, and, in 1995, it honored the 75th anniversary with a colorful design featuring a large group of suffragists in front of the Capitol Building. The souvenir sheets celebrating the major events of the different decades of the 20th century included a stamp delineating a woman voting.

The postal service has not neglected individual suffragists either. There have been stamps honoring Susan B. Anthony (twice), Lucy Stone, Elizabeth Blackwell, Abigail Adams, Dr. Mary Walker, Julia Ward Howe, Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, Belva Lockwood, and Alice Paul. Still yet to be pictured are such notables as Harriot Stanton Blatch, Anna Howard Shaw, and Inez Milholland, the suffrage martyr. Victoria Woodhull, the first woman ever to run for President (1872), has not been graced with a stamp either, although her period notoriety, particularly her stance on “free love,” could preclude her from ever appearing.

… The reason why I believe in the possibility of multiple stamps is that the PO in its current budget crisis has not been bashful in printing many different series to attract stamp collectors. If cartoon characters, famous chefs, baseball players, jazz musicians, Olympic athletes, early TV memories, and Gulf Coast lighthouses can be honored with multiple issues as they have been, surely the centennial celebration of women’s right to vote should attain at least equal if  not greater recognition.

Suffrage CentennialsimagesFollow SuffrageCentennials.com on Facebook page, Twitter, email subscription, and the Quarterly Newsletter. Sign up for email on this web page. Stay up to date with postings, audio podcasts, and videos. Plan for your suffrage centennial event. And don’t forget to pass on women’s suffrage storytelling to the next generation. Suffrage Centennial videos on Vimeo.

Vision 2020 & Surprise News about the Suffrage Wagon!

 

SURPRISE NEWS ALERT: The “Spirit of 1776” suffrage wagon will be on exhibit from March 2020 at the New York State Museum in Albany, NY through the summer of 2020. And even better—news that the suffrage campaign wagon used by Edna Kearns and others during 1913 will be returning for an exhibit in Stony Brook, NY (Long Island) during September 2020.

This will be quite a homecoming. The wagon left Long Island in 1920 for Pennsylvania, and its return marks 100 years of being away from Long Island. At present, and the wagon is part of the permanent collection of the NYS Museum in Albany, NY. It has been exhibited there in 2010, 2012, 2017-2018, and now, 2020.

This year is what we have all been waiting for. It’s the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution and celebrations are taking place all over the United States and abroad.

ROSE BOWL PARADE IN CALIFORNIA

The year 2020 started with the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, California. Women representing those determined to celebrate the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution were there. From the reports, the parade was a heart-felt and impressive event—not only for the recognition that it took 72 years from the 1848 women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, NY, but even longer. Women were active in rights campaigning from the official birth of the nation and before.

Here is a selection from the newsletter of the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites: “The crowd didn’t seem to recognize us just as a symbol of history, they saw us as a symbol of hope… Our chants changed as we marched from, ‘Votes for Women!’ to ‘Use your Vote!’ and the crowd joined in. In honor of float rider civil rights icon, Dolores Huerta, we began, “Si se puede!” Spanish for “Yes we can!” Again the crowd roared back. The energy never stopped, we were waving furiously and high-fiving hands even through the last block.”

The National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites is yet another example of the efforts of concerned citizens around the nation who have been working behind the scenes for the past decade to make sure that 2020 reflects the hard work by volunteers for years.

ARE YOU PLANNING AN EVENT FOR 2020?

Consider focusing a program on Inez Milholland, the US suffrage martyr. You can quickly pull together an excellent 15-minute film about Inez; the Gazette, a tabloid and handout on 2020 suffrage events and special celebrations published by the Women’s History Alliance (see their web shop for details), music by Earth Mama and other performers (see January 12, 2020 posting), plus many other resources.

In late 2019, Mt. Discovery was renamed Mt. Inez, in honor of Inez Milholland, the US suffrage martyr from upstate New York. The town of Lewis, NY and its residents are proud of the road markers erected locally, funded by the Pomeroy Foundation, to mark and locate Milholland’s grave and related locations. The Milholland family lived in Lewis, NY for many decades. And the town has been the site of many observances over the years to commemorate Inez.

There’s a terrific 15-minute film about Inez, perfect for 2020 observances and for the general public. And the renaming of Mt. Discovery in the Adirondack Mountain region of New York State is a milestone in the work conducted over the past decade to bring the stories about US suffrage activists to the attention of the public. Stay in touch with the many observances during 2020 to bring the story of the history of the US women’s rights movement to the attention of the broader public.

Visit InezMilholland.wordpress.com to follow updates. This blog was launched in 2016 to commemorate the centennial of Inez Milholland’s death.

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A New Play: “Susan B” by Daphne White Highlights Suffrage Conflicts

“Susan B.” Goes Behind the Scenes and Behind the Masks

by Daphne White

“Susan B,”, the play, is a no-holds-barred exploration of the epic battles, lies and betrayals that took place between the early suffragists and the male power brokers of their time. And in a brief flash-forward to the present, the play also asks: How much has really changed in the power dynamic between men and women?

“Susan B.” is a finalist in the 2020 Julie Harris Playwright Award Competition, and is available for readings and productions during the Suffrage Centennial.

While the play is a work of historical fiction, it is based on two years of my painstaking research. Some of the scenes are taken from condensed transcripts of actual events — Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a Woman” speech; Stanton’s appeal to the New York State constitutional committee; the contentious 1869 American Equal Rights Association meeting; and Anthony’s 1873 “voting while female” trial. But other scenes are imagined, showing highly personal interactions that were never recorded.

In addition to well-known figures such as Sojourner Truth, Lucy Stone and Frederick Douglass, the play introduces Phoebe Harris Phellps, the abused wife of a famous Boston abolitionist and state Senator. Phellps was a “fugitive wife” who came to Anthony for help, after her husband imprisoned her in a mental institution for two years. The play also explores Anthony’s little-known relationship with Anna Dickinson, one of the most famous lecturers of her day, who was known as “America’s Joan of Arc.”

Frederick Douglass had a complicated and contentious history with Anthony, and that is also explored in the play. Douglass was no fan of Sojourner Truth, either, and she had her own issues with Douglass. Everything was fraught; nothing was simple or straightforward. This story is both messy, and eerily contemporary. Like today’s women, the suffragists were forced to make difficult decisions under incredibly harsh conditions. They were far from perfect, yet they never looked back, and they rarely apologized.

“Failure is impossible,” Anthony said in her last public speech. Yet she knew, even as she lay dying, that she would not succeed in her lifetime. And as the play suggests in its last few minutes, women have still not reached the “success” part of their story.

A special appeal from Daphne White: If you would like to stage a reading or production of Susan B. please contact me at Daphne@DaphneWhite.com. And if you know anyone at all in the theater world, I would very much appreciate a connection. I hope to see this play produced in as many cities as possible during the 2020 centennial celebrations.

NEWS FLASH: On March 2, 2020 at 7 pm, there will be a reading of Susan B. at Berkeley Rep’s Peet’s Theatre in downtown Berkeley, California. The reading will open the Bay Area Women’s Theatre Festival. This will be a three-month event (several shows per weekend). “Susan B” will be the opening event, along with a reception. None of the actual event dates have been released yet, but once tickets are available, the information will be available on SuffrageCentennials.com

Women have been Marching for Rights for More than 100 Years!

by Marguerite Kearns

1914 March of women’s rights supporters. Library of Congress.

WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF INSANITY?

As women, we have been marching for our rights for more than 100 years. This is insanity. Are we going now to break the next record of 150 years of marching? How about 200 years of marching? Is this what it will take for US women and others to be considered first-class citizens?

You’d think that the 100th anniversary of women voting in 2020 would have impacted the thinking of those so-called “party leaders” who believe that old white men are what it’s going to take to win a seat in the Oval Office. But no. It’s business as usual. But we’re changing that!

DOING THE SAME THINGS OVER AND OVER AND EXPECTING A DIFFERENT RESULT IS ALSO CALLED “INSANITY”

“Insanity” is a word spread around on the grassroots. The on-the-ground definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. It’s not that marching in public is a bad idea. Here at SuffrageCentennials.com we support marches and other demonstrations of support.

CAN WOMEN WIN? YOU BET!

BUT KEEP IN MIND THAT there’s the same old tired jargon by some who say “women can’t win.” Nonsense. The right person can win, and marches are only part of the picture. We need women who care more about people than profit to serve our nation. The time is over for insults and condescending attitudes.

In 2019 I participated in the women’s march in my community carrying the above image of women and men marching at close to life size in 1914. My grandparents were in that above photo. THAT WAS WELL OVER 100 YEARS AGO. To my knowledge, I was the only person in the 2019 parade making the link between the past and the present day.

THE YEAR 2020 IS THE TIME TO BE SAYING “NO” TO INSANITY

This is what the 2020 centennial and celebration of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution is about. Making the connection between the past and the present. You’d think the old boy network might have noticed that US women have been struggling for rights for so long, it should be embarrassing. And yet the message hasn’t sunk in yet.

NEWS ALERT: Virginia’s legislative bodies today approved the Equal Rights Amendment, making it the final state to do so. Now the process begins to legitimize the ratifications. Stay tuned!

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This entry was posted on January 15, 2020, in Blog.

HAPPY 2020! This is our year at Suffrage Centennials!

This photo is of Earth Mama, Joyce Rouse. She’s ready for action in 2020.

2020 is finally here, folks. Behind the scenes over the past decade SuffrageCentennials.com has been advocating since 2013 for a national centennial celebration of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution. The 2020 observance just didn’t happen automatically. It has taken the focus and concentration of hundreds, and even thousands of volunteers—all of us working quietly behind the scenes.

Here at SuffrageCentennials.com we have been diligently advocating for 2020 since 2013…back when many people either couldn’t pronounce the word “suffrage” or they didn’t know what it meant. And look how far we have come! And the songs of Earth Mama have been important in spreading the word.

It’s time for a song, and “Earth Mama” is prepared to give it to us. Here’s a CD that you’ll find useful this year for school, organization, and other events from the Earth Mama herself: Joyce Rouse.

Follow us at Suffrage Centennials during 2020.

This entry was posted on January 12, 2020, in Blog.