Suffrage Centennial Book Club

Suffrage Centennial Book Club
100 Years of Women Voting | 1920-2020

In honor of the 2020 Centennial of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting women the right to vote, the Houston Public Library, the League of Women Voters and the University of Houston Friends of Women's Studies are launching a citywide Suffrage Centennial Book Club.

Houstonians of all ages across our city are invited to gather in their living rooms, coffee shops, libraries, and community centers, to read and discuss one book or film each month in 2020. These conversations will be generative, sharing ideas in real time about why voting matters.


Reading List & Film Pairings

** Please note all programs and events are virtual. Check our calendar for upcoming programs and events.**

January

Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote by Susan Ware
(Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2019). 360 pp.

Film: Seneca Falls (2019, Louise Vance)


February

Princess of the Hither Isles: A Black Suffragist’s Story from the Jim Crow South by Adele Logan Alexander
(Yale UP, 2019). 392 pp.

Film: Thirteenth (2016, Ava Duvernay)

Book Discussion: Princess of the Hither Isles: A Black Suffragist’s Story from the Jim Crow South by Adele Logan Alexander


March

Agent of Change: Adela Sloss-Vento, Mexican American Civil Rights Activist and Texas Feminist by Cynthia E. Orozco
(Austin: University of Texas Press, 2020). 272pp.

Film: Dolores (2018, Peter Bratt)

Cynthia Orozco book discussion, Thursday, March 26, 5:30-7pm, UH M.D. Anderson Library, in the Honors College Commons.


April

Battling Bella: The Protest Politics of Bella Abzug by Leandra Ruth Zarnow
(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2019). 464 pp.

Film: She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry (2014, Mary Dore)


May

The Highest Glass Ceiling: Women’s Quest for the American Presidency by Ellen Fitzpatrick
(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2016). 336 pp.

Film: Chisholm ’72: Unbought and Unbossed (2004, Shola Lynch)


June

The Invention of Wings by Sue Kidd Monk
(NY: Penguin, 2015). 384 pp.

Film: Rebel Hearts: The Grimke Sisters (1995, Betsy Newman)


July

Seneca Falls Inheritance by Miriam Grace Monfredo
(Create Space Independent Publishing, 2nd Ed, 2013). 332 pp.

Film: Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice (1989, William Greaves)


August

The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote by Elaine Weiss
(Penguin Press, 2018). 432 pp.

Film: Iron-Jawed Angels (2004, Katja von Garner; starring Hilary Swank)


September

Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change by Stacey Abrams
(New York: Picador, 2019). 256 pp.

Film: Councilwoman (2018, Margo Guernsey)

Chisholm ’72: Unbought and Unbossed
A Livestream Filmmaker Discussion

Thursday, September 24 | 6:30 PM
Facebook Live

Hear from writer and director, Shola Lynch, in Houston Public Library's inaugural livestream event. Ms. Lynch, who also serves as curator of the Moving Image & Recorded Sound division of the NYPL’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, will be in conversation with Houston Cinema Arts Artistic Director, Jessica Green. Presented as part of the The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power exhibition and the Suffrage Centennial Book Club.
The film can be viewed on Kanopy with your MyLink library card.

This program is generously sponored by the Houston Public Library Foundation.

 

Agent of Change: Adela Sloss-Vento, Mexican American Civil Rights Activist and Texas Feminist
Author Talk - Dr. Cynthia Orozco

September 26, 2020 | 2-3pm

Dr. Cynthia Orozco will discuss her new book, Agent of Change: Adela Sloss-Vento, Mexican American Civil Rights Activist and Texas Feminist, the first comprehensive biography of the formidable civil rights activist and feminist whose grassroots organizing in Texas made her an influential voice in the fight for equal rights for Mexican Americans. The essayist Adela Sloss-Vento (1901–1998) was a powerhouse of activism in South Texas’s Lower Rio Grande Valley throughout the Mexican American civil rights movement beginning in 1920 and the subsequent Chicano movement of the 1960s and 1970s. At last presenting the full story of Sloss-Vento’s achievements, Agent of Change revives a forgotten history of a major female Latina leader. Dr. Cynthia E. Orozco chairs the History, Humanities, and Social Sciences Department at Eastern New Mexico University-Ruidoso.

Register


October

Smithsonian American Women: Remarkable Objects and Stories of Strength, Ingenuity, and Vision from the National Collection by Jill Lepore
(Washington, DC: Smithsonian Books, 2019). 248 pp.

Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All by Martha S. Jones
(New York: Basic Books, 2020). 352 pp.

Film: Wonder Women: The Untold Story of American Superheroines (2012, Guevara-Flanagan & Edwards)

Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All
Author Talk - Dr. Martha S. Jones
October 21, 2020 | 6:00-7:30 pm

Co-sponsored by the Center for Public History and the Institute for Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies - Suffrage Centennial Book Club, a collaboration with the Houston Public Library & the League of Women Voters

In the standard story, the suffrage crusade began in Seneca Falls in 1848 and ended with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. But this overwhelmingly white women’s movement did not win the vote for most Black women. Securing their rights required a movement of their own. Vanguard is a new history of African American women’s political lives in America. She recounts how they defied both racism and sexism to fight for the ballot, and how they wielded political power to secure the equality and dignity of all persons. From the earliest days of the republic to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and beyond, Jones excavates the lives and work of Black women — Maria Stewart, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Fannie Lou Hamer, and more — who were the vanguard of women’s rights, calling on America to realize its best ideals. Dr. Martha Jones is the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University.

Information on how to tune into this conversation coming soon!


November

One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy by Carol Anderson
(New York: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2019). 368 pp.

Film: Selma (2014, Ava Duvernay)


December

The Women’s Atlas by Joni Seager
(New York: Penguin Books, 2018). 208 pp.

Film: Forbidden Voices (2012, Barbara Miller)