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About the Songs of the Suffragists
The music of the women’s suffrage movement reflects the culture of change that activists inspired, and that inspired activism. Songs sung by and about suffragists reveal their persuasive arguments for political equality, and helped link their cause to the other activist movements of their time. Notably, the lyrics of pre-Nineteenth Amendment songs foreshadow the feminist message of later suffragists, who sought to advance the cause of women’s equality in their own times.
available for free download ( click here)
This video is designed for book clubs, programs on the history of the the Women’s Right to Vote and both high school and college classes studying Women’s History.
Thank you to our devoted fans of the Songs of the Suffragists project for making our centennial celebration of women’s suffrage an entertaining, enlightening, and overall fun experience.
The project was kicked off by past LWVBHNPS President, Susan Ferris Rights, with two very talented interns in 2018. They researched the 18th and 19th century songs sung by U.S. suffragists during their fight for women’s voting rights.
The baton passed to Laura Engelhardt who began looking into publication of their work. Along with another pair of extraordinary interns, the work was expanded and refined into the book we ultimately published in 2020: Songs of the Suffragists
If you want to support the LWVNEW’s educational initiatives, and haven’t yet bought it, please do!
One hundred percent of sales proceeds go to supporting the League. Our original intention was to use the book in live programming to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of passage of the 19th Amendment (which codified women’s voting rights).
Covid changed that plan, and instead we embarked on an even more ambitious project: the creation of a short documentary film and related discussion guide that could serve as a ready-made program for groups wishing to commemorate this milestone in feminist history.
Susan Ferris Rights
Susan Ferris is the 3 term Past-President of the LWV of Berkeley Heights, New Providence and Summit and the current Co-President of the LWV of North East Westchester. She continues to moderate candidate forums throughout NY. Her interest in the rights of Women and Women’s History is traced to her education in Quaker schools and her upbringing as a Quaker, a group well-known for their beliefs in the equality of all people.
In 2018 she took her intense interest in graphic design and started her own design business working to create children’s party and wall décor.
Laura Engelhardt is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Hamilton College. In 2017, she founded Neutrality Now LLC, a provider of arbitration and mediation services. In addition to co-authoring the Songs of the Suffragists, she’s published several feminist fantasy novels on her own. During election season, Laura moderates local debates for the League of Women Voters and provides information to voters through voter hotlines
Songs of the Suffragists showcases the enduring suffragist message and calls upon modern activists to continue the fight for freedom and equality.
The music of the women’s suffrage movement reflects the culture of change inspired by over a century of activism. Songs sung by and about the suffragists reveal the persuasive arguments underpinning their efforts to gain the right to vote, and link their cause to other activist movements of the time. The lyrics of the pre-Nineteenth Amendment songs foreshadow the arguments of later suffragists, who sought to advance the cause of women’s equality in their own time. Written to commemorate the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment's passage, this engaging book explores the enduring themes of feminism through the lyrics of American music.
* Features lyrics from over 20 songs, including the works of Julia Ward Howe, Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Loretta Lynn, and Kesha
* Includes over 40 photos documenting the history of the American feminist movement
* All proceeds benefit the League of Women Voters of North East Westchester (LWVNEW)
* The accompanying discussion guide and 30-minute documentary film are available FOR FREE on thi website. A perfect supplement to the book that has been successfully used by book clubs, historical
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articles from our Feminist 4 Series
January 2021: Feminism Through Fashion
February 2021: A Playlist of Feminist Anthems
March 2021: Unsung Feminist Heroes
April 2021: Leveling the Playing Field
May 2021: Motherhood and Reproductive Justice
September 2021: Women Writers
October 2021: Women Religious Leaders
November 2021: Wartime Women Heroes
January 2022: Memes
February 2022: Unpopular Opinions
March 2022: Women in STEM
April 2022: Female Environmentalists
May 2022: Waxing Poetic
Summer 2022: Dominating Extreme Sports
September 2022: Calling Balls and Strikes
October 2022: Women Journalists
November 2022: Women Warriors
December 2022: Women Toymakers