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The Blue Room in the American Jazz Museum

Lisa Henry

Sunday, August 27, 2023, 3:00-5:00 pm

The CEO of the Black Archives, Dr Carmaletta Williams will be on hand to tell the story of a little-known Kansas City Black Suffragist who paved the way for women to receive their right to vote in the 1920 presidential election of Warren G. Harding. She will be joined by Researcher, Lisa Hardwick, Musical Director, Pamila Baskin Watson, with Millie Edwards, Lisa Henry, and the Kansas City Girls’ Choir under the direction of Mia Ramsey.

If you are paying even a little bit of attention to national politics these days, you may be fed-up with the snail’s pace of justice in our beloved country. Don’t be alarmed. It’s nothing new. We now have a well-tested system that has been plugging slowly along for almost 250 years, and it’s really not getting any slower. It’s been slow all along.

The big fight a century ago was the Women’s Right To Vote. It took a very long time for men to realize that women deserved equal rights. Even though, most days they lived in the same house and slept in the same bed as them. If you read a book from the 1920s, there is a very good chance that male authors will not even recognize the fact that women could reason, let alone vote.

That’s why it’s exciting that 3 well-read, high-toned, Black women jazz musicians are making plans join the CEO of the Black Archives, to walk us through the facts of the matter of Suffragists on a Sunday afternoon at the Blue Room.

Suffragists and Suffragettes are not the same. Suffragists preceded Suffragettes. Suffragists such as Susan B Anthony and Frederick Douglass were pushing for the woman’s right to vote in the US decades before the issue came to a head. Suffragettes were “a new generation of activist” in the early twentieth century willing to take direct militant action for the cause. All of this, eventually, even caused hard-headed men to actually listen.

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