Editor’s note (March 15, 2020): This event has been canceled. All York Public Library events and programs have been canceled until further notice, amid concerns of the coronavirus pandemic.
YORK — The century-long struggle for women’s right to vote culminated in 1920 with ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The phrase “Lifting as We Climb” refers particularly to the extraordinary strength and determination of African American women as they fought for suffrage while facing bitter racism. Their story is the subject of a talk by professor Kabria Baumgartner on Saturday, March 21 at 3 p.m. at York Public Library.
The event, “Lifting as We Climb: African American Women and the Fight for Suffrage in the Nineteenth-Century Northeast,” is sponsored by the York Diversity Forum and is part of a year-long series of programs celebrating the Centennial of the 19th Amendment.
Baumgartner will discuss the struggle of African-American women as their efforts were made even more difficult by the attempts of white women to exclude them from the fight for equality and to silence the voices of people of color. Histories of the movement have generally omitted women of color and ignored their considerable efforts and contributions.
Baumgartner, professor of American Studies at the University of New Hampshire, teaches and writes about 19th century African American culture, history and literature. In “Lifting as We Climb” she will recognize the work of lesser known suffragists of color, such as Mary Church Terrell, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Sarah Parker Remond and others. The results of their work are evident today in the historic representation in Congress by women of color.
Upcoming events in the Votes for Women series include: a discussion of the Library’s York Reads selection, The Woman’s Hour, by Elaine Weiss, with discussion leader Julie Weiss on April 25 at 10:30 a.m.; and on May 8 at 3 p.m. there will be an artist reception for Robert Shetterly to open a display of a selection of his paintings of “Americans Who Tell the Truth.” The exhibit will hang in the library through June.
A July 4 event is being planned with York Historical Society, and the series will culminate with a panel discussion in the Fall. All of these events are free, with refreshments, and everyone is welcome.
Doors will open for Baumgartner’s talk at 2:30 p.m.
York Public Library is at 15 Long Sands Road.