If it weren't for the pandemic, I would be on my way to Washington, D.C. to see this glorious tribute—"Our Story: Portraits of Change Mosaic," a 1,000 square foot mosaic of Ida B. Wells, fearless journalist, anti-lynching activist, suffragist, comprised of 5,000 historic photographs of suffragists, representing the multi-generational millions of suffragists who fought the fierce fight for the 19th Amendment. Exhibited on the marble floor of Union Station, Washington, D.C., "Our Story" will be on display from 8/24-28, 2020.
Union Station was a hub of suffrage activities, including the rousing send-off in 1914 of National Woman's Party (NWP) organizers to campaign in western states and the Prison Special in 1919. A picture of seven of the NWP organizers is in my book The Vote: Women's Fierce Fight (p. 149). They look so energetic, indomitable, full of vim and vigor, undaunted by the relentless and treacherous opposition. I can only wonder if they would have predicted the fight would go on and on, six more years, until August 26, 1920 when the amendment was officially added to the U.S. Constitution. The wording is simple: "The rights of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the Federal Government or by any States on account of sex." Although many African American women voted, including Ida B. Wells in Chicago, IL, many others were denied by discriminatory state laws. Other groups of women such as Native Americans were blocked by Federal legislation. Although progress has been made, anti-voting forces remain active in America. So, the work continues!