In 2020 we celebrated two monumental events in American history—the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, granting American women the right to vote, albeit with barriers for many women of color, and the 150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment, which at least nominally enfranchised African-American men.
Votes for Women
During Women's History Month in March–and continuing through April–the Carothers Library lobby will host a traveling exhibit curated by the Rhode Island Secretary of State's office and focused on the history of woman suffrage in Rhode Island.
Our yearlong virtual series, from fall 2020 through spring 2021, evaluated the legacy of these political milestones and explored modern-day voting issues. Speakers included Rhode Island Representative Justine Caldwell, campaign strategist Kate Coyne-McCoy, political scientists Emily Lynch and Stella Rouse, and historians Wendy Rouse, Pippa Holloway, Elisa Miller, and Elizabeth Stevens.
Spring virtual lectures and registration
The Rhode Island Historical Society and Newport Historical Society offer a free copy of “The Bridge”–a joint edition of their journal devoted to the history of woman suffrage in Rhode Island–to the first 100 people who request a copy. Please send your name and mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Getting Out the Vote - Justine Caldwell, Kate Coyne McCoy, and Stella Rouse
Thursday, February 25, 7 p.m.
- The Queer History of the Suffrage Movement - Wendy Rouse
Thursday, March 4, 7 p.m.
- Historical Perspectives on Woman Suffrage: Rhode Island and Beyond - Elizabeth Stevens, Elisa Miller, and Emily Lynch
Thursday, March 25, 7 p.m., Watch video
- Felon Disenfranchisement and the History of Women’s Voting Rights - Pippa Holloway
Wednesday April 21, 7 p.m., Watch video
Fall virtual lectures
- Suffrage Memorabilia and the Merchandising of the Movement - Kenneth Florey
Wednesday, September 23, 4 p.m.
- How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All - Martha Jones
Thursday, October 15, 7 p.m., Watch video
- Suffrage and Sashes: American Pageantry and the Feminist Movement - Hilary Levey Friedman
Thursday, October 29, 7 p.m., Watch video
- Transnational Suffrage Activism in Postrevolutionary Mexico - Kathleen McIntyre
Thursday, November 12, 7 p.m.
- Current Trends in Voting Rights - Nellie Gorbea
Wednesday, November 18, 7 p.m.