Text by Sue Burns and Photos by Taylor Johnson

 

I

t has been 100 years since women were granted the federal right to vote by the 19th Amendment. Women can celebrate that milestone by being sure to vote this fall. They can also be inspired by the stories of the women who fought for generations to obtain that right.

“Victory for the Vote: The Fight for Women’s Suffrage and the Century that Followed” by Doris Weatherford is an expanded update of her earlier book celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Seneca Falls Conference that is considered the beginning of the women’s suffrage movement, even though there were numerous examples in Colonial America of women standing up for equal rights. Weatherford is a prolific contributor to the field of women’s history.

Eileen Carol DuBois’ “Suffrage: Women’s Long Battle for the Vote” links the suffrage and abolitionist movements prior to the Civil War. It was a great disappointment after the war when Black men were allowed to vote but all women were still excluded. It took more than 50 more years of petitioning, protesting, picketing, marching, being arrested and beaten before women won the vote. DuBois is also a distinguished women’s historian.

“Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All” by Martha S. Jones tells how even the 19th Amendment did not secure voting rights for most Black women. For more than 200 years, sometimes in conjunction with the white women, often not, Black women fought for their rights and for human rights. Even in the 1960s in Mississippi, a Black woman could be jailed and brutalized just for trying to register to vote. Jones is also an acclaimed historian, specializing in Black women’s history.

VALLEY WRITERS

El Diamante senior Arjan Batth and Redwood junior Alyssa White have published a book for children from 3 to 12 years old. Batth, 17, wrote “Dear Humans…: A cloud pleading for humanity’s attention on climate change,” and White, 16, is the illustrator. In the story, the cloud is sad because the sky is no longer its favorite color, which is blue.

He goes on an adventurous journey to try to find the blue and bring it back. As a child, Batth suffered from asthma while growing up in the polluted valley air. Using his passion for writing, he hopes to be able to simplify complex environmental issues in a way that helps children understand what they can do to help. Proceeds from the book will go toward fighting climate change.

WRITING CONTESTS

Deadline for the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize is Dec. 1. Submissions should be unpublished collections of original poems by one poet. Length should be 60 to 95 pages. Entry fee: $30. Details at: ohioswallow.com/poetry_prize.

The Narrative Magazine Fall Story Contest is open to all fiction and nonfiction writers, including short shorts, short stories, essays, memoirs, photo essays, graphic stories, literary nonfiction and excerpts with a limit of 15,000 words. Entries must be unpublished and not a previous winner in any contest. Entry fee: $27. Deadline: Nov. 30. Details: narrativemagazine.com/fall-2020-story-contest.

 

VALLEY PUBLISHERS

Linden Publishing, based in Fresno, is the umbrella publishing house for Craven Street Books, Quill Driver Books and Pace Press. The company does both traditional and self-publishing. The Linden imprint began as a publisher for books on wood-working and furniture construction, which is still its focus. Craven specializes in books on California and the history of the Western United States. Quill Driver publishes only nonfiction. Pace is the imprint for genre fiction. Pace is not currently accepting queries, but information on the other imprints is at quilldriverbooks.com/.

One of Pace Press’ latest books is “Upon this Rock” by David Eugene Perry. The suspense thriller takes place in Orvieto, Italy. When Lee and Adriano arrive for a relaxing vacation, they stumble into a recent mysterious death somehow linked to 500-year-old events.

“The Chowchilla: The Ethnohistory of a Yokuts Tribe” by Robert Fletcher Manlove is a latest Craven Street historical publication.

 

THE LAST WORD

“With each generation, women’s ability to live the lives they choose reaches a place their grandmothers never thought possible. But that doesn’t mean everything is perfect or that our work is finished.” — Cathy McMorris Rodgers

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