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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.”
“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/.
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