Alice Paul & the 20th Century Fight for Women’s Rights: A Living History & Suffrage Tea
This program will feature a living history performance about American women’s equality activist Alice Paul (1885-1977). Content will highlight Paul’s significant leadership and contributions to the women’s suffrage and equal rights movements, covering important events throughout Paul’s life within the social and political context of her time. The program is equally divided between Paul’s bold and controversial campaign for suffrage and her work thereafter. Following passage of the 19th Amendment, Paul fought tirelessly to advance the ERA and successfully lobbied for gender equality provisions in the Civil Rights Act, the United Nations Charter, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Throughout this program, the actors will weave extensive quotes from Paul herself into a spellbinding factual narrative that is, at turns, humorous, dramatic and affecting.
And since this would not be a true Suffrage event without Tea, this living history program will be accompanied by a light tea service (teas and sweets), with additional historical context about the suffrage movement’s leaders provided by Jean Baker, PhD – American historian and professor emerita at Goucher College. Please feel free to dress in the traditional suffrage colors of purple (loyalty to the cause), white (purity, quality of purpose), and/or gold (light and life).
Please join the Goucher community again on Friday, February 28th at 1:30 pm as we celebrate the unveiling of a special marker, just awarded to the College by the Pomeroy Foundation and the National Votes for Women Trail, which recognizes the leadership of Goucher faculty and students in the struggle for women's suffrage, in commemoration of the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. For more information on this event, please email Dr. Tina Sheller, Assistant Professor, Visual and Material Culture Program, at the Goucher Humanities Center.
This program will:
- educate audiences about Alice Paul’s pivotal but historically under-acknowledged role in the suffrage and equal rights movements of the 20th century
- spur thought and discussion about the efficacy of various forms of political protest
- captivate interest with an entertaining program that inspires audiences to pursue further learning and greater civic engagement
- introduce the concept of the Suffrage Tea, as a means to gather, share ideas, organize, and help fund the movement
Living history performance followed by audience Q&A with the actors both in and out of character. The unique two-actor format depicts Paul in 1920 when the campaign for ratification of the 19th Amendment was successfully concluded, and in 1972, following passage by Congress of the Equal Rights Amendment (which remains unratified) during the “second wave” of American feminism.
For a full description of the program take a look at the Alice Paul and the 20th Century Fight for Women’s Rights A Living History and Suffrage Tea (PDF)
This will be accompanied by a light tea service - Suffrage Tea.
SUGGESTED SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL
- Adams, Katherine H. and Michael L. Keene. Alice Paul and the American Suffrage Campaign. University of Illinois Press, 2008.
- Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, 144 Constitution Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002. https://www.nps.gov/bepa/index.htm.
- Fry, Amelia R. Conversations with Alice Paul: Woman Suffrage and the Equal Rights Amendment. November 1972 and May 1973. Suffragists Oral History Project, University of California at Berkley. Online Archive of California. https://www.alicepaul.org/audio-interview/
- Gallagher, Robert S. “I Was Arrested, Of Course.” American Heritage 1974: 17-24.
- Irwin, Inez Haynes. The Story of Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party. Denlinger’s Publishers, Ltd, 1977.
- Kops, Deborah. Alice Paul and the Fight for Women’s Rights: From the Vote to the Equal Rights Amendment. Calkins Creek, 2017. [For young adult readers]
- Lunardini, Christine A. From Equal Suffrage to Equal Rights Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party, 1910-1928. New York University Press, 1986.
- Stevens, Doris. Jailed for Freedom: American Women Win the Vote, edited by Carol O’Hare. New Sage Press, 1995. (reprint of 1920 edition).
- Zahniser, J.D. and Amelia R. Fry. Alice Paul: Claiming Power. Oxford University Press, 2014.
Suffragists & Tea:
- History Channel: The Women’s Suffrage Movement Started with a Tea Party
- The Atlantic: How Tea Helped Women Sell Suffrage
Here at Goucher:
- Goucher Magazine: Suffragette City
- Goucher College News: Goucher College Receives Gold Seal for Excellence in Student Voter Engagement
About Liz Cannon & Joanna Guy
Liz Cannon served on the Board of Directors of Maryland Humanities from 2010-2019 and has been an avid Chautauqua living history program supporter for more than 20 years. Retired from a long career at Hewlett-Packard Co., she resides in Frederick, Maryland. Liz has performed in community theater and has conducted extensive research on Alice Paul. She holds a BA from Santa Clara University and an MA from Stanford University.
Joanna Guy won the Maryland State History Day individual performance contest in 2009 with her portrayal of Alice Paul. She has a broad range of experience in vocal performance and theater, and as a teen held the title of National Youth Storytelling Grand Torchbearer. Joanna is currently employed as a Senior Manager at Marriott International, Inc. in Bethesda and resides in Washington, DC. She holds a BA in government and music from Cornell University and an MBA from Duke University.