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POSTPONED - "Women, Voting and Politics: Reflections on a Century of Women’s Suffrage" Symposium

April 24, 2020 | 10:00 am–3:00 pm | South Carolina State Museum : 301 Gervais St., Columbia, SC 29201

Morning Panel: “Fighting for Suffrage: Movements, Politics and the Nineteenth Amendment”
10:00am-11:30am
Panelists: Elaine Weiss, Cori Field, Blair Kelley 
Moderator: Claudia Brinson 

Women’s struggles for the right to vote was a monumental effort that spanned several decades, involving local, state and national politics. Racial and generational divisions, class differences, and conflicting ideas among women regarding the public sphere contributed to a vigorous debate about rights, citizenship, and a woman’s place. In her recently published book, The Women’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote, Elaine Weiss’s work has provided a rich account of the political struggles and intrigue that accompanied the ratification of the nineteenth amendment in Tennessee. Cori Field, author of The Struggle for Equal Adulthood: Gender, Race, Age, and the Fight for Citizenship in Antebellum America explores generational and racial conflict within the women’s movement during the early twentieth century in her current book project. In her work, Blair Kelley has studied the efforts of black women in the South, following the passage of the Nineteenth amendment, to claim voting rights, along with black veterans of World War I. This panel, among other issues, will consider how the struggles of this era, while securing a major advance for many women, revealed tensions, injustices and constraints that would have far-reaching consequences. 

Luncheon Keynote: “'In Politics to Stay': African American Women and the Vote”
12:00-1:15pm
Presenter:  Bettye Collier Thomas 

Esteemed historian and author, Temple University professor Bettye Collier-Thomas is a specialist in U. S. social, cultural, and political history. The author and editor of numerous award winning books and articles, including Jesus, Jobs, and Justice: African American Women and Religion, Sisters in the Struggle: African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement and Afro American Women and the Vote, 1837-1965. Her forthcoming book is “In Politics to Stay: A Political History of African American Women.”

Afternoon Panel: “Women, Equality and American Politics” 
1:30-3:00pm
Panelists: Marjorie Spruill, Bettye Collier Thomas, Jean Toal 
Moderator: Blanche Wiesen Cook 

The afternoon panel includes historians who have written books on women, voting and politics that reflect on the women’s movements and civil rights struggles of the twentieth century, and illuminate debates among women regarding issues concerning citizenship, rights and gender roles. The panel also includes Jean Toal, a pathbreaking lawyer, legislator and jurist in South Carolina, whose public career spans the decades since the 1960s.

General Information:

  • Admission to the symposium is $40 for Adults and $20 for Students
  • Registration can be made for the full symposium or single day, but not for individual sessions
  • Friday will include light food and beverage service as well as a buffet lunch
  • Books by presenters will be available for sale at the event
$40 for Adults and $20 for Students
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