Tuesday, August 18, 2020

19th Amendment Centennial Celebration!

Chambers, Veronica and The Staff of the New York Times
Finish the Fight!: The Brave and Revolutionary Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote.
August 18th 2020 by Versify
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Most young readers have heard of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and a few have even heard of my favorites, Alice Paul and Lucy Stoner, but the fight for women's suffrage lasted over 70 years, and there were women from all walks of life who contributed. In many cases, there is information about them that history has swept aside, and in others, there is relatively little information. Still, these women were instrumental in securing the rights that many take for granted and are still not secure for others.

Starting with the Haudenosaunnee people in the Seneca Falls area whose matriarchal society influenced early organizers of the suffrage movement, the book proceeds through a wide array of women. There is frank discussion about how divisions occurred within the movement because of the treatment of people of different races. Arranged in a rough chronological order, there is information about African-American women, queer leaders, later Native American participants, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, and others. This is the most complete compilation of culturally diverse women in the suffrage movement that I have ever seen. The research is amazingly complete given the paucity of information sometimes extant.

There is a great timeline, as well as an interesting "1920 vs. 2020: Women by the Numbers" chart, but my favorite part of this was the Trading Cards: small illustrated biographies that appear in the front and back of the book. The publisher REALLY needs to consider making a set of these available on 11" x 8.5" card stock for use in classroom bulletin boards! I would buy a set for every social studies teacher in the building!

This beautifully illustrated book (the page decorations of flowers are wonderful!) also includes photographs of the subjects when available, as well as some facsimiles of newspaper articles. To mirror the multicultural nature of the biographies included, there are artists from many different backgrounds as well.

My grandmother didn't vote until she was 27 years old, so even though the 19th Amendment was ratified 100 years ago, this seems like a new development to me. Finish the Fight will encourage young women to embrace and protect this right, and never take it for granted.
Ms. Yingling

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