Episode Show Notes & Transcript
The right to vote was only one of many demands that women made prior to the Civil War. Zooming in on another priority, the right to bodily autonomy, changes our understanding of who was at the forefront of the struggle for women’s rights.
Host Laura Free, a historian of women and politics, travels to Baltimore, Maryland, to spend a day with legal historian Martha S. Jones. They visit the Homewood Museum, a 19th century mansion once owned by a family of enslavers, to grapple with its legacy of slavery and sexual violence through the story of one enslaved resident, Charity Castle. Then Martha tells the stories of Celia (whose last name is unknown) and Harriet Jacobs, two other enslaved women who courageously fought for control of their own bodies within legal systems that denied them that right. Although few today know their names, Martha makes the case that all three women were part of the “vanguard” of women’s rights activism.
Laura Free: This has got to be the largest personal archive I have ever seen.
Bettye Collier-Thomas: It is and it’s the largest one on Black women, too.
Lisa Tetrault: We pay scant attention to what the Amendment actually says.
Judy Wellman: I said who are these people, where did they come from, why did they come to this meeting.
Laura: Last time on Amended we talked about how the suffrage history that’s in most textbooks centers a specific and limited perspective. How it sidebars anyone who wasn’t white, wealthy, or free.
Lisa: What they did is they took this truth and made it the movement’s truth.
Bettye: They give you a couple of the names that are well known, but beyond that, you do not get the story.
Laura: Welcome back to Amended, a podcast from Humanities New York. I’m Laura Free. Over the course of our series, groundbreaking historians are taking us from the 1800’s to the present day, centering the stories of women who fought for full equality, without exclusions based on race, citizenship status, and class.
Martha Jones: There have always been Black suffragists as long as there have been suffragists.
Sharia Benn: We are all bound up together in one great bundle of humanity.
Judy: We don’t want to write people out who were actually there.
Laura: If you’re listening to Amended for the first time, please go back and listen to Episode 1 first. The series is meant to be heard in order. And you should also know that today’s episode includes stories of sexual assault and violence, which may be not be appropriate for all listeners.
ACT 1: SCENE 1
Laura: Last episode we looked at what’s often accepted as official suffrage history. Beginning in Seneca Falls in 1848 and ending with the 19th Amendment in 1920. And then we raised the idea that the fight for women’s voting rights is too expansive to have just one beginning, and too unfinished to have a triumphant end.[MUSIC]
For this episode I wanted to look at some women who also lived in the 19th century, but whose stories unfolded far from northern activist communities. To do that, I went to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and spent the day with legal historian Dr. Martha Jones. Martha is the author of a new book called Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All.
Laura: Hi, Martha! Good to see you, how are you?
Martha: Good to see you. Fine, thanks!
Laura: As you’re about to hear, Martha is an incredible storyteller, and she’s our only guest this episode. We took our time discussing some disturbing but remarkable stories about three enslaved women. They did not have the freedom to participate in organized activism, but they all took courageous action to claim basic human rights. When you hear about each of the women, I want you to join me in thinking about what it would mean to reframe the story of early women’s rights activism around experiences and actions like theirs. The first of the stories began at a place called Homewood, which these days is right on the Johns Hopkins campus. So Martha took me there.
Martha: It stands out, doesn’t it? From all the other buildings…
Laura: Homewoood is a large brick mansion with stately white columns. It was built for a rich and powerful white man named Charles Carroll Jr., a man whose father signed the Declaration of Independence.
Martha: But it’s a family home. And a place of raising children, but also of work, for enslaved people.
Laura: In the first half of the 19th century, slavery was legal in Maryland. and both Charles Carroll and his father enslaved large numbers of people at Homewood and at all their many properties, both as forced agricultural workers and domestic laborers.
Today Homewood is a museum. All the rooms have been restored so that visitors can grapple with the histories of everyone who lived there. The white owners of the house, and the families and individuals they enslaved. We walked into a room that was originally the kitchen. Here’s Martha.
Martha: So when I come in this room, but really any room at Homewood, I’m always envisioning the kind of invisible hands that were doing the labor. Look at the size of this hearth and imagine the labor, the effort it takes to build a fire, to keep that fire going. How heavy the pots and instruments are. The kitchen is a dangerous place. Right. It’s the place of accidents, of fires. The dining room in this house to me was really a place that changed everything because we step into this room where every element in order to have the kind of shine, the silver and the crystal and the china, also requires enslaved people who are caring for and polishing these objects, who are serving the meals, who are cleaning up. That kind of code switching between a kitchen and a dining room is a skill that enslaved women have to develop in order to survive in a place like Homewood.
ACT 1: SCENE 2
Laura: From the elegant dining room, we make our way through the grand hallways towards the back of the house where the white family’s bedrooms would have been.
Martha: So if we head this way, we move from the working side of the house to the private side of the house.
Laura: We stop at a room with a carved canopy bed and green velvet curtains, where Harriet Chew Carroll, the lady of the house, once slept.
Martha: I’m drawn to this room because there’s the cradle at the foot of the bed. This really charming painted wood cradle, not to mention the linens and commode is also a symbol of labor. And the work that enslaved women are doing here raising children.
Laura: And children, not their own.
Martha: And children, not their own. Right? So, children their own, yes, but not in this space. Not in this space.
Laura: What was it like to be a woman in this home?Martha: Well, it depends upon your station, doesn’t it? Enslaved women outnumber free women in this household. What is distinct though not unique is the violence to which women of all stations were subjected. One of the advantages to us of Harriet Chew in particular having come from an elite family is that the letters, the correspondence, the artifacts of her life and the life of the Chew family more generally have survived. And so, among the things we know is that this is a place from which, Harriet Chew will flee as a young mother and return to her family in Philadelphia, with enslaved people, who have been attached to her for a long time, because there is a sort of terror that has unfolded here in this household. Carroll by all accounts was an alcoholic who abused the people in this household, both enslaved women and Harriet Chew herself.
Laura: It’s 1814 when Harriet leaves Charles and returns to her family in Philadelphia. During this period, women surrender almost all their rights when they marry, so Harriet has no legal recourse against her husband’s abuse. But she does have a brother, Benjamin, who steps in to defend her, and he negotiates the terms of her separation from Charles. Benjamin’s letters to the Carrolls offer us a glimpse of the person who’s the real focus of our story, because leaving Homewood changes her life, too. Twenty-nine-year-old Charity Castle is one of the eight enslaved people Harriet takes with her to Philadelphia. Charity has also been subject to Charles’ violence, so leaving with Harriet offers a small degree of escape for her, but legally, she is still Charles’s property.
Martha: So all of the women in this household are bound to Charles Carroll by marriage, as property. These women have no legal claims to bodily autonomy, to their liberty. So in a way these are women who stand in remarkably analogous shoes and yet in the social world, in the political world, their lives and their possibilities are so divergent. Harriet has a lot more agency.
Laura: And yet legally neither of these women own their own bodies.
Martha: Yeah, yeah…
Laura: After Charity has been in Philadelphia with Harriet for about five months, Charles demands that Charity come back to Homewood. He’s very aware that Pennsylvania has been phasing out slavery. And there’s a law that says if an enslaved person is held in the state for six months that person automatically becomes free. Harriet tells Charity they’re sending her back to Charles, but Charity refuses to go. We don’t know exactly what Charity tells her enslavers, but it seems clear that Charles has not only physically abused her, but also sexually assaulted her. The Chews and Carrolls try to diffuse the situation by saying they’ll send another enslaved woman to Homewood and send Charity to a different Carroll property in Maryland, but Charity has her own plans.
Martha: Charity is looking to take advantage of the promise of freedom by staying just long enough, right, over six months, which she expects will give her an unassailable claim to freedom. This is where the story takes a curious turn because when Mr. Carroll sends an agent to Philadelphia to claim Charity, Charity has had an accident, a fall, that nearly takes her life by all accounts. But what that results in is that she’s unable to travel by doctor’s orders.[MUSIC]
Martha: And I myself am never clear about that accident. And how much of an accident it is, and how much of it is a desperate attempt to thwart Charles Carroll’s very deliberate efforts to claim her as property and to bring her back to Baltimore.
Laura: Charity’s terrible injury leaves her bedridden for weeks at the Chews house in Philadelphia. Harriet provides for her care, but at the same time, she wants Charity out of the way. Harriet’s brother writes about her strong feelings in a letter to Charles’s father.
Laura: So there’s this really interesting passage in a letter that I wanted to ask you about. It’s from Benjamin Chew, Harriet Chew Carroll’s brother, referring to Charity Castle. It says “although every attention which the tenderness of humanity could excite has been shown by my sister to the poor woman while under the affliction of sickness or danger of life. Yet my sister considers it all together, improper, nay repugnant to her feelings to permit the woman to continue near her longer than your pleasure may be known.”
Martha: Sexual violence is referred to using euphemisms. So I read that passage as Charity was a victim, but a party to acts that for Mrs. Chew are intolerable. So she is willing to consider returning Charity out of an interest in her own comfort, in her own sense of propriety. Even as the prospect promises to leave Charity vulnerable again. It’s chilling.
Laura: Right? And it seems like a moment where human compassion might have led one woman who has suffered abuse to have sympathy for another woman who might have suffered the same thing at the hands of the same man, and yet…
Martha: Without a question what runs through all the documents is the agreement that she’s property. There is no radical benevolence in this story.
Laura: Then looking back up from that to this space just now gave me the chills. Looking at the velvet and the mahogany and the silver and the opulence of this space, knowing that the violence that was at the core of that.
Martha: I think a question or a way to think about it is to ask it is so is the room an archive? And what is it an archive of?[MUSIC]
Martha: And in a way I think this is precisely how Harriet Chew Carroll would’ve wanted us to remember this room, as a jewel box, as a tribute to the refinement of her life. Our work is to remember the blood on the pages, or we might say here the blood on the linen or this fine decorative carpet. And our work is to spend enough time in this room so that we recognize that violence even as it is invisible to the eye.
Laura: Harriet will return to Homewood at least once more to try to patch things up with Charles. At this point in history, it’s nearly impossible for women to get out of even abusive marriages. If they do, they almost always lose custody of their children. For Harriet, though, her wealthy family and her powerful father-in-law agree that she should leave Charles and keep their children. So she’s eventually able to leave permanently, even though the couple never gets divorced. As for Charity, before she disappears from the Chew family letters, we get one more piece of her story. Charity does recover from her injuries, after she’s been in Philadelphia well past six months. Then she makes her move. She somehow sends word to her husband that she’s legally free. We haven’t heard about him in the letters before, but he shows up at the Chew’s house asking for Charity’s release. They try to send him away. But the next day, he returns with a letter from a top abolitionist lawyer. Apparently Charity’s enslavers don’t want to get involved in a public legal fight challenging Pennsylvania’s abolition law. So they decide to sell Charity to her husband, or to another buyer if he can’t pay.
Laura: So What happens to Charity Castle?
Martha: We don’t know what happens to Charity, but here is a story, right, for us to pursue in the archives. There’s still places to go and work to do. And I think, for me, it’s one of the sorts of research I enjoy the most, is fixing on a character like Charity and wringing out of our social history archives some glimpse of who she became in the wake of this very dramatic tussle over her liberty. So to be continued I think is the way to leave that story.[MUSIC]
Laura: After a short break, Martha’s next story takes us to a rural Missouri courthouse to witness a murder trial. Stay with us.[MUSIC]
ACT 2: SCENE 1
Laura: The sexual abuse you heard about in Charity’s story was all too common. because the rape of enslaved women was an integral part of how slavery worked as an institution. Enslavers used it, among other forms of violence, to attempt to assert control and instill terror. But while we don’t have Charity’s words, we can plainly see how she fought back to claim her own autonomy. In spite of her limited choices she was resourceful and courageous. She worked through male advocates at a time when only men could negotiate with other men. She found an abolitionist lawyer and perhaps a sympathetic doctor to help her work the system. She may even have chosen to sacrifice her health and safety to stay in a state that considered her free. One pattern you’ll notice among all the stories in this episode is that because our protagonists are enslaved women, unjust laws give them only very narrow, and very treacherous, ways to claim ownership of themselves and their bodies. As we leave charity in urban Philadelphia, we move to a story set forty years later in rural Callaway County, Missouri, where one enslaved woman’s act of self-ownership led to a critical legal battle over the rights of enslaved people. Martha and I sat down in her office to talk about that battle, and the person at the center of it: Nineteen-year-old Celia.
Martha: So come on in…
Laura: The conditions under which Celia is enslaved offer her very limited means to advocate for her personal rights. She’s isolated on a rural farm, in a community where slavery is deeply entrenched and is the foundation of the local economy. Nevertheless she takes action to claim ownership of her body. Martha starts her story in a Missouri courthouse in 1855.
Martha: In many ways, it’s a typical county courthouse, but on this November day, the subject is a murder charge. On trial is a young, enslaved woman, we know her by the name of Celia. One name. Accused of killing the man who claimed her as property, her owner, as we sometimes put it. So in order to understand this courtroom scene, we have to go back more than four years. Celia is fourteen years old. She’s purchased by a man in a neighboring county to work as a domestic slave on a small farm. As she tells it she has been sexually assaulted, raped by this man even before they arrive at the farmstead, and after enduring many years of sexual assault, bearing two children and pregnant with a third, she decides to defend herself. In the days and weeks leading up to this particular night, Celia was ill and tried to strongly discourage her owner from coming to her cabin. She had appealed to others in the household to intervene on her behalf without success. So on the fateful night, she attempts to resist. He persists, and she raises a club or a leg of a chair, but, I think attempting to hurt him, discourage him, but he is felled and killed.
Laura: And then what does she do?
Martha: The wheels turn quickly, I think, in Celia’s head, which is to say she understands that if she’s discovered she’s likely to be punished, harshly, leaving her children vulnerable to the slave market and more. So she takes his now lifeless body and puts it into the fire. So by morning, the evidence has been destroyed. The household wakes up, and when her owner’s not to be found, there’s some evidence in the ashes of human remains. Celia is questioned and questioned again, until she confesses.
Laura: How does the defense unfold for Celia?
Martha: As we would expect, there’s a judge, local men seated as jurors. Probably there were spectators, and the defense begins with Celia’s own story. She’s a girl, sexually assaulted over many years, her effort at self-defense. No one ever disputes it. And this is the foundation of Celia’s defense: That Celia had committed the killing because she herself was about to be the victim of ravishment, or what today we would call rape.
Laura: If Celia could have spoken for herself at the trial, what do you think she would have said?
Martha: I think she would have said that she had given her owner every opportunity to leave her alone. I think she probably would have added an appeal for her daughters, not to leave them orphans without a mother.[MUSIC]
Laura: But Celia is not allowed to speak for herself in court. Instead her three white male lawyers—one of whom is an enslaver himself—will make the case to the white male judge and twelve white male jurors. All the jurors are local farmers, and a third of them are also enslavers. That’s an important detail not only because these men were unlikely to identify with Celia’s situation, but because, as enslavers they would also have a stake in the outcome of the trial. Because ten years before this moment, Missouri had passed a law that made the rape of quote “any woman” a crime, which would, by extension give any woman the right to defend herself. Celia’s trial isn’t really about proving she was raped by her enslaver. That is accepted by all present in the court. They all know that it is an ordinary and every-day dimension of slavery. But because she is an enslaved woman, the question was: Are enslaved women protected by this law? Does Celia count as “any woman” and therefore does she have a legal right to self defense?
Martha: The law makes it a crime to ravish any woman. Any woman! The plain meaning of that we reasonably could take to include white women, Black women, enslaved women, free women, Native women. Any woman should be able to assert that self-defense. But what happens in Celia’s case is a quiet but decisive insertion of the word free such that any woman comes to mean in practice any free woman, or any white woman. It doesn’t mean enslaved women. Even though the law defines rape is the commission of ravishment against any woman, it turns out Celia is not a woman. And it was never intended to protect a woman like Celia.[MUSIC]
Martha: And so she’s going to be found guilty and she is sentenced to death by hanging, which they do in December 1855. She’s executed.
Laura: Celia’s two surviving daughters were toddlers when she died. They became the property of the adult white children of her enslaver, who quickly sold their young half-siblings. There are differing ideas, though, about what happened to the unborn baby Celia was carrying when she was sentenced.
Martha: There are two versions of what happens. One version is that she miscarries and loses her baby. People in Missouri tell another story. Which is that her child, a daughter, survives and is secreted out of the jail. And there exist today people in Missouri who claim themselves to be descendants of Celia. It’s not a story that lends itself to the evidence, if you will, at least not so far. Whether that is literal or metaphorical, it reflects the way Celia has indeed survived into the twenty-first century as an important figure for people there, and maybe for all of us. So in Fulton the date of Celia’s execution has been frequently marked with a vigil. Celia is today remembered in poetry. She’s remembered in artwork. So I don’t know if you noticed there’s a picture, a portrait here on the wall above my desk. It’s a portrait of Celia.
Laura: Can we go take a look at it?
Martha: Yeah absolutely, let’s take a look. I’m so glad I remembered in that moment that this is hanging here. So in this portrait, Celia, a young girl, is dressed in a simple blue dress buttoned at the neck, gazing directly at us. It sits right above my computer, so this is a good reminder for me of who we try to speak for when we write the history of slavery, the history of women. She’s a good reminder.
ACT 3: SCENE 1
Laura: We had Charity’s story through the archived letters of the Chew and Carroll families. We know Celia because of her trial records, all documents created and preserved by enslavers. Documents written by enslaved people are much harder to come by. Many slave states made strict laws attempting to keep enslaved people from learning to read and write. So for those who learned anyway, leaving a paper trail was a dangerous thing. Fortunately, we do have writing from some enslaved people. Harriet Jacobs was one of them.
Martha: We best remember Jacobs because in 1861, she publishes a memoir called “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.” She uses a pen name, Linda Brent, but she tells an absolutely true story of her experience working in a slaveholding household in Edenton, North Carolina, and being relentlessly pursued sexually by the man who was the head of that household.
Laura: But let’s back up a bit. Harriet is born in 1813, and enslaved by an elderly woman who teaches her to read and write. When her enslaver passes away, the will gives twelve-year-old Harriet to a five-year-old grandniece. Almost as soon as Harriet moves into that family’s house, the five-year-old’s father starts to sexually harass and threaten Harriet — who is still a child herself. He begins an intensive campaign of verbal and psychological abuse, trying to coerce Harriet into submitting to him sexually. Harriet feels cornered and terrified, but she continually resists her harasser. When Harriet tells his wife what’s happening, she accuses Harriet of tempting her husband. So for the next four years, the psychological torture continues. As Harriet wrote in her memoir, “No animal ever watched its prey more narrowly than he watched me. Under the most adverse circumstances I tried hard to preserve my self respect.”[MUSIC]
Laura: When Harriet is sixteen her enslaver starts to build a cabin outside of town to isolate her from her community and family, so she starts looking for a way out. She said, “I would do anything, everything, for the sake of defeating him.”
Laura: When she’s being threatened by her enslaver she makes some hard choices. What are they?
Martha: I think they’re probably the hardest choices of her life. And she decides to enter into a sexual relationship with a man who is not her owner, a free white man, thinking that were she to do so and were she to bear children, even, that this man might aid her and her children to win their freedom.
Laura: This was a man who was unmarried, lived nearby, and had expressed concern for Harriet’s situation. Harriet felt that choosing him gave her more agency. She said: “It seems less degrading to give one’s self than to submit to compulsion. There is something akin to freedom in having a lover who has no control over you, except that which he gains by kindness and attachment.” Harriet’s decision is an important act of self-ownership within a cultural and legal system that deny her that right. As a result, she succeeds in getting some distance from her enslaver. When she becomes pregnant, her enslaver is so enraged and jealous he kicks her out of his house. So she goes to live with her grandmother nearby, a free woman who was widely respected by the whole community. There, she gives birth to a son, Joseph, in 1829. Then in 1833, to a daughter, Louisa. Things take a turn again when, four days after Louisa is born, the enslaver shows up and threatens that if Harriet doesn’t submit to him, he will force her and her children into lives of hard labor. “My master had power and law on his side,” she wrote, “but I had a determined will. There is might in each.” To stop her enslaver, Harriet goes into hiding to make everyone believe she’s escaped north. This convinces her children’s father to purchase them from Harriet’s abuser. Harriet’s real escape to freedom, though, will be even more complicated.
Martha: Jacobs spends, famously, seven years hidden in a crawl space in her grandmother’s home. Anticipating, watching out for her opportunity to escape that town. And she will eventually make her way north, and remake a life slowly, incrementally, as a free person. But the drama of her story is this long road to escape, and family and friends, many of them free African Americans who risk themselves in order to secret her and help her make her way to freedom.[MUSIC]
Laura: In the North Harriet finds domestic work in the homes of white abolitionist families and eventually reunites with her children. At the point Harriet self-emancipates, slavery won’t be abolished for another twenty years, and she becomes active in the northern abolitionist community. One of the ways she contributes to the movement is to tell her story in print. Harriet joins a rich tradition of narratives published by other self-emancipated people. Her memoir adds an important female voice to the case against slavery.
Martha: It was certainly a political act. She’s a good abolitionist. She understands the power of that story to turn American minds against the institution of slavery. There’s a last piece though, is that she makes a record for all of us, and she minces no words about how ubiquitous and harrowing sexual harassment and sexual violence was in the lives of enslaved women. She puts on the table sexual violence as a woman’s issue, as a Black woman’s issue. She names that thing that too many American women know, but too few American women have said by 1861.
ACT 4: SCENE 1[MUSIC]
Laura: Harriet’s activism doesn’t stop in 1861 with the publication of her memoir. During the Civil War she goes down to Virginia to help self-emancipated people—now refugees—coming over to the Union. And after the war ends, Harriet and her daughter Louisa, go back again to the South to do relief work in Black communities. Louisa grows up to be an equality activist in her own right. In 1867, she speaks alongside Susan B. Anthony on a women’s rights lecture tour. Harriet and Louisa join a large community of free northern Black women who work to combat racial discrimination and to advance the political power of women.Harriet is the only one of the women we’ve discussed today who gets to channel her experience of injustice into organized advocacy. But my time with Martha made me think about how fundamental enslaved women’s actions were to the struggle for women’s equality. Enslaved women like Charity, and Celia, and Harriet offer some of the earliest evidence we have of American women calling for ownership of their own bodies. That issue is still at the core of the fight for women’s equality today, and we miss enslaved women’s contributions entirely if we define women’s rights activism only as going to conventions, signing petitions, protesting, and lobbying.
Martha: I get asked a lot how African American women fit into the grand narrative of women’s suffrage, women’s rights. So, there’s an extraordinary spectrum of experience and positions that Black women occupy depending on where they are, when they are, whether they are on plantations or in cities, North and South and West. But there have always been Black suffragists as long as there have been suffragists. More challenging has been for me to really think through and explain how enslaved women must be part of this story. Even as they remain enslaved and unable to participate in suffrage activism. So I offer up the stories of Charity Castle, Celia, and Harriet Jacobs as opportunities for us to appreciate the ways in which enslaved women really give substance to the women’s issue that we might call bodily autonomy, or the freedom from sexual violence. Like Charity does by refusing to come back. And like Celia does when she picks up that club or that stick and kills her owner. They’re all making records and speaking powerfully to what women’s rights is supposed to do. This is a reason to make women’s politics. This is a reason for women to vote, because they must make laws that render impermissible that which is all too permissible: men’s unfettered access to women’s bodies, a circumstance that is no more so lived by any women than enslaved women. Enslaved women bequeath that to all American women, but not all American women pick that up.
Laura: So we’ve made the case here that enslaved women’s efforts to resist sexual violence were acts of political resistance, and therefore, should be central to any history of women’s rights activism. And when we place enslaved women’s actions at the heart of women’s rights history, we can’t help but see how profoundly white women in nineteenth century failed Black women. Not only southern white women who were enslavers and abusers, but also northern white activists who knew about the violence Black women faced, both when they were enslaved and after slavery ended. Those activists failed to see that when Black women stood up to demand bodily autonomy, they were fighting a battle that had to be won before all American women could gain true equality.
Martha: We sometimes wonder how it is, a little bit later in the story of women’s rights and the suffrage movement,, we wonder how it came to be that Black and white women at best enjoyed very uneasy alliances in a movement for women’s rights or women’s suffrage. For me, the answer is not simply in the racism that was enacted within those movements, the slights, the rebuffs, the exclusions. That exists. I think that the deep answer is that no movement that was unwilling to grapple with how slaveholding women stood aside and turned away as Black women were being raped. That’s something to reconcile. I don’t mean to say that I think Black women are holding this over white women. I just think as a matter of human relations that there is a process of reconciliation, and that formerly enslaved women, their daughters and their granddaughters carry the memory, their bodies tell the literal story of sexual violence. And how to come to sisterhood without wrestling with the degree to which your sisters were too often complicit. How do you make a woman’s movement out of that? Out of that?[MUSIC]
Laura: Next time on Amended: Sharia Benn and Dr. Bettye Collier-Thomas will bring us the story of Frances Harper, a Black author, abolitionist and suffragist who called white women out on the wrongs they were willing to overlook in their pursuit of voting rights.
Don’t miss these great books by host Laura Free and guest Martha S. Jones:
Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America by Martha S. Jones
Still craving more?
Check out these HNY reading lists: “Amended, Suffrage, and Beyond,” “Suffrage and Beyond: 19 Books for Women’s History Month” and the “Votes for Women” collection, which includes more great reads on women’s struggle for the vote.
Amended Episode Two: “Any Woman”
Production Company: Humanities New York
Laura Free, Host & Writer
Reva Goldberg, Producer, Editor & Co-Writer
Scarlett Rebman, Project Director
Kordell K. Hammond
Consulting Engineer: Logan Romjue
Art by Simonair Yoho
A special thanks to Amy Mulvihill and the Homewood Museum at Johns Hopkins University.
Additional thanks to this episode’s advisors for their feedback: Carol Faulkner, Dominique Jean-Louis, Martha S. Jones, Alison Parker, and Kishauna Soljour.
Amended is produced with major funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and with support from Baird Foundation, Susan Strauss, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Phil Lewis & Catherine Porter, and C. Evan Stewart.
Copyright Humanities New York 2020