E.G. Fisher Public Library is presenting “To Make Our Voices Heard: Tennessee Women’s Fight for the Vote,” a new traveling exhibition, on display through Sept. 30 in the Mayfield Gallery.
The exhibition, created in partnership with the Tennessee State Museum and the Tennessee State Library and Archives, explores the history of the woman’s suffrage movement, Tennessee’s vote to ratify the 19th Amendment in 1920, and the years that followed.
The exhibition is constructed of multiple panels, offering guests a touch-free experience of archival images, stories and introductions to the leaders of the fight for and against the cause of woman’s suffrage.
The stories begin by detailing the early challenges of racial and gender discrimination and continuing to the organization of African American and white women’s associations to encourage political engagement.
Visitors will also learn about Febb Burn of McMinn County, whose letter to her son, Harry T. Burn, resulted in a last-minute vote that helped change women’s history in the United States forever.
“Tennessee’s role in becoming the 36th and final state to ratify the 19th Amendment not only solidified women’s right to vote but propelled women across the country to opportunities and futures they never thought possible,” said Chuck Sherrill, state librarian and archivist with the Tennessee State Library & Archives. “The hope of the committee is this centennial celebration will do the same all across our state.”
In coordination with this traveling exhibit, the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville will soon open “Ratified! Tennessee Women and the Right to Vote,” an extensive 8,000 square foot exhibition exploring the Women’s Suffrage movement in Tennessee through archival images and documents, artifacts, films, interactive elements and programming.
An online component of the exhibition, “Ratified! Statewide!” highlighting the suffrage movement in every Tennessee county is available now at tnmuseum.org
“As we commemorate the historic vote that took place at Tennessee’s State Capitol in August of 1920, we want to honor those individuals who played key roles in the journey to gain voting rights for women,” said Ashley Howell, executive director of the Tennessee State Museum. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to share these stories across the state.”
“To Make Our Voices Heard: Tennessee Women’s Fight for the Vote” is organized by the Tennessee State Museum and the Tennessee State Library and Archives with funding provided by The Official Committee of the State of Tennessee Woman Suffrage Centennial. The project is also funded in part by a grant from Humanities Tennessee, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Masks are required for all E.G. Fisher Public Library visitors ages 5 and up. The library is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.