Women march in Downtown in a centennial celebration of suffrage

Marching together, dressed up in white, the Long Beach Suffrage 100 community group hopes to remind us of the impact and importance of the women who fought to have their voices heard in government.

Women chant through residential areas in Long Beach Saturday celebrating the centennial of women’s suffrage in the U.S. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.

With a shared fascination and admiration for the women who fought during the suffrage movement, these Long Beach women walked together from Downtown Long Beach to Cesar Chavez Park singing and chanting along the way.

Dressed in their “suffrage whites” women walk through Downtown Long Beach singing and chanting. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.

The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing and protecting women’s constitutional right to vote.

The Long Beach Suffrage 100 has planned yearlong events and activities of art, education and music—all the ways that women can work to create a local conversation on the importance of women’s suffrage and its relevance to the issues of equal rights today. Saturday’s march was the first of many planned.

Woman dance, sing and chant in front of a mural in Downtown Long Beach. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.

“It’s not just about marching, it’s about women never quitting,” said Martha Wheelock a former women studies teacher and creator of Wild West Women, films about the California Suffrage Campaign made by using historical materials and re-enactments. “What we need to do is be empowered by them and we must always vote and remind ourselves that we weren’t given the right to vote, we fought for it hard.”

Martha Duncan rests her feet after walking a mile in white high-heeled boots. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.

This centennial celebration included a march, scones, and a solo show called “Tea with Alice and Me” performed by Zoe Nicholson, director of Long Beach Suffrage 100.

Nicholson, a suffrage historian and one of seven women who fasted to push the Equal Rights Amendment to be ratified before the deadline in the Illinois courthouse in 1982, shared the sides of the suffrage movement that were not taught in schools. “If there is a day I can broadcast for the rest of my life, it is that day in which I did not trade equality for a Snickers bar,” said Nicholson.

“She lives this work,” said Amy Eriksen, a lifetime Long Beach resident, of Nicholson. “We’re always working to take care of the population of our town, a large part of the population is affected by what we’re going to celebrate this year.”

Pins remembering Alice Paul, the American suffragist who helped secure the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.

“The world needs some good activists right now,” said Nicholson.

To see the yearlong events hosted by The Long Beach Suffrage 100, check their website for updates at https://lbsuffrage100.com/.

Women stand side by side in front of a mural in Downtown Long Beach. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.

“We are the suffragists” the women shout as they march the streets in Downtown. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.

Cheryl Perry laughs in celebration after the women complete their march from Victory Park to Cesar Chavez Park. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.

Suffragettes sit to chat at Cesar Chavez park after the mile long march. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.

Daughters of Mariela and Isaac Salgado wear hats celebrating the centennial of the women’s suffrage in the U.S. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.

Martha Wheelock sharing with Long Beach residents about the not so well known parts women’s history discussed in her films. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.

Jennifer Schuster sitting in Victory Park in a thrifted white outfit and showing off her original pins from the National Organization for Women. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.

Jennifer Schuster holding a cherished pendant before the march on Saturday, August 24, 2019. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.


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Sarahi Apaez is a Long Beach Post contributor who centers her reporting skills on photographs and videos. When she’s not focusing her lens, she’s focusing her balance as she bombs down the boulevards of Long Beach’s streets on her roller skates.