How to Commemorate 100 Years of Votes for Women | Free Coloring Pages
August 26th, 2020 marks 100 years since women officially won the right to vote in the United States with the adoption of the 19th Amendment. Suffragists fought for this fundamental privilege of citizenship for over 70 years through a monumental political effort. Many were taunted, assaulted, and arrested in their efforts to win enfranchisement for women.
However, like all of American history, the suffrage movement was severely tainted by racism. Though the 19th Amendment gave Black women and other women of color the right to vote on paper, in reality, they were (sometimes violently) denied this right, particularly in the Jim Crow South.
This centennial has arrived in an election year in which many white Americans (myself included) are finally starting to truly listen to the cries of our Black brothers and sisters and actively become anti-racist. One way we can do this is to follow Professor Treva P. Lindsey’s suggestion to commemorate (not uncritically celebrate) 100 years of women’s suffrage.
We can honor the efforts of suffragists while educating ourselves and our children and acknowledging that cries for “votes for women” often didn’t include all women. We can think critically about how our current policies and systems may still be silencing our fellow citizens.
In our house, we will be reading some great books, listening to some podcasts and historical speeches, and, of course, crafting. I’ve linked some reading and listening suggestions below along with some craft ideas and free coloring pages. But, most importantly, we’ll be using this time to discuss how we can help ensure that all Americans have the right and the ability to cast their vote.
Books to Read
I’ve picked out a few of my favorite women’s suffrage books for all ages, and you can find them linked below! I only picked books that address (in age-appropriate ways) how race and racism affected the fight for women’s right to vote.
I am also really looking forward to reading Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All by Martha S. Jones. I will be released on September 8, 2020.
The links I’ve included are affiliate links. This means that if you purchase these books, I get a small commission at no cost to you. I will be donating 50% of any affiliate income I make to organizations that continue to fight for voting rights in America. However, I recommend checking out your local Black-owned bookstore to see if you can snag your copies there first.
This book is great for ages 3-8, and I won’t lie, it made me cry the first time I read it. The illustrations are beautiful, powerful, and inclusive. While it does discuss women’s suffrage, it’s also a great way to start a conversation with your little ones about what voting is and why we do it.
The recommended ages for this book are 8-12 years, but I think older or younger readers would enjoy the delightful mix of illustrations and historical photos and fantastic graphic design.
I LOVED the adult version of this book (linked below), so I was thrilled to find this one, which is adapted for young readers. This is a chapter book that is recommended for ages 8-12. I especially love all the little boxes explaining relevant civics concepts like legislature, polls, and lobbying.
Read. this. book. It is a little heavy on names, which can be overwhelming for me, so I opted for the audiobook version. The story is told in a very engaging way that had me absolutely hooked and somehow nervous even though I knew the outcome. To me, that is a rare quality in a book. It is recommended for teens and adults.
This book is a collection of essays by leading African American and Women’s Studies scholars. The essays are relatively short and can be read independently of each other, which is a great way to break up your regular reading. I strongly recommend this book for high school students to help prepare them for the kind of reading they will do in college.
Podcasts & Speeches to Listen To
- Playlist of 16 notable suffrage speeches with captions from ROC Suffrage
- And Nothing Less Podcast hosted by Rosario Dawson & Retta
- The Magic Sash hosted by Aly Raisman. This podcast is recommended for ages 9-13.
- The Surprising Road to Women’s Suffrage by Ellen Dubois, a professor of history and gender studies at UCLA.
SVGs & Cricut Projects
I’ve designed some cut files (SVG, PNG, EPS, DXF, JPG) based on posters, buttons, flags, and sashes from the suffrage era. You can find them here in my Etsy shop along with some photos of sample projects. I’ve included a bonus PNG sticker sheet and step-by-step instructions that you can use to make customized stickers with your Cricut. 50% of all proceeds from the cut files will be donated to organizations that fight for the voting rights of BIPOC. Be sure to share your projects with me on Instagram @thewannabegrandma!