“There is nothing in the world that is so transitory and fragile as a snowflake, and there is nothing so irresistible as an avalanche, which is simply millions of snowflakes. So that if each one of us, little snowflakes, just does our part, we will be an irresistible force.” – Florence Luscomb, who made 220 speeches for woman’s suffrage in 1915.
In Massachusetts in the 1830s, women of color and white women, moved by the heinousness of slavery to speak in public, confronted violent resistance to their joining public political life because of their gender. They realized they had even more work to do. In the 1850s – 1870s, they convened, debated and signed petitions. “Equality before the law, without regard for sex or color,” became their cause. They edited newspapers, wrote books and gained partial suffrage. From 1880s through 1900, they built coalitions with unions and clubs. Through the 1900s-1920, they lobbied and rallied and coaxed the popular idea of women’s suffrage from radical to fashionable to obvious.
“You never give up hope, never, because just when you think you’re going to give up, that’s when you could really gain the victory — if you just kept on going, just a little bit more.” – Melnea Cass, who organized African-American women to cast their first votes in 1920.
I created this stripe to represent Massachusetts in the Her Flag 2020 project along with artists of 35 other states to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment. I hope you can join us in Boston for the celebration on the day Massachusetts ratified the amendment, July 25.