By Erika Qualls Barnett

On Thursday, August 26, 2021, EVPL will join other libraries and organizations across the country in celebrating Women’s Equality Day. A bill was presented by Congresswoman Bella S. Abzug in 1971 to commemorate the passage of the 19th Amendment, and it was passed when she presented it again in 1973. Every President since that time has declared August 26 as Women’s Equality Day. 

The 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920 to give women the right to vote after women fought for decades prior to its passing. While the 19th Amendment gave all women the right to vote, some states denied women of color the right to vote until the Voting Rights Act was signed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965. Despite these measures, voter suppression laws are still prevalent in our country today.

EVPL honors Women’s Equality Day, and we have provided some suggested reading if you would like to learn more.

Adult Titles

Mr. President, How Long Must We Wait?: Alice Paul, Woodrow Wilson, and the Fight For The Right To Vote by Tina Cassidy

Examines the complex relationship between suffragist leader Alice Paul and President Woodrow Wilson, revealing the life-risking measures that Paul and her supporters endured to gain voting rights for American women.

The Women’s March: A Novel of the 1913 Women’s Suffrage Procession by Jennifer Chiaverini

Inspired by actual events, this novel offers a fascinating account of a crucial but little-remembered moment in American history that follows three courageous women who bravely risked their lives and liberty in the fight to win the vote

The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight To Win the Vote by Elaine Weiss

An account of the 1920 ratification of the constitutional amendment that granted voting rights to women traces the culmination of seven decades of legal battles and cites the pivotal contributions of famous suffragists and political leaders.

The Women’s Suffrage Movement

Comprised of historical texts spanning two centuries with commentary on each period by the editor, this book covers the major issues and figures involved in the women’s suffrage movement with a special focus on diversity, incorporating race, class, and gender. The writings of such figures as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony are featured alongside accounts of Native American women and African American suffragists such as Sarah Mapps Douglas and Harriet Purvis

Children’s Titles

Finish the Fight!: The Brave and Revolutionary Women Who Fought For The Right To Vote by the Staff of The New York Times, including Veronica Chambers

Who was at the forefront of women’s right to vote? We know a few famous names, like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, but what about so many others from diverse backgrounds–black, Asian, Latinx, Native American, and more–who helped lead the fight for suffrage? On the hundredth anniversary of the historic win for women’s rights, it’s time to celebrate the names and stories of the women whose stories have yet to be told.

Lifting as We Climb: Black Women’s Battle for the Ballot Box by Evette Dionne

For African American women, the fight for the right to vote was only one battle. An eye-opening book that tells the important, overlooked story of black women as a force in the suffrage movement–when fellow suffragists did not accept them as equal partners in the struggle.

A Lady Has the Floor: Belva Lockwood Speaks Out For Women’s Rights by Kate Hannigan

Activist Belva Lockwood never stopped asking herself the question Are women not worth the same as men? She had big dreams and didn’t let anyone stand in her way–not her father, her law school, or even the U.S. Supreme Court. She fought for equality for women in the classroom, in the courtroom, and in politics.

Created Equal: Women Campaign for the Right to Vote, 1840-1920 by Ann M. Rossi

A brief history of American women’s fight for voting rights.


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Erika Qualls Barnett
Programming Manager

Erika Qualls Barnett

Erika is a cardigan-loving Hufflepuff that enjoys the Cubs, reading, and walks with her husband.

Business Education
LCSUM 2021