November 10, 2020 I I 616-574-7307
 Wrapping Up Our 2020 Reading~

~and remembering the nineteenth-century African American women on whose shoulders stand their twentieth- and twenty-first-century descendants, including Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges, and Vice President Elect Kamala Harris!
Ruby Bridges & Vice President Elect Kamala Harris
A popular meme reads “Rosa sat, so Ruby could walk, so Kamala can run.” Among the ancestors paving their way is Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, whose name should be among the celebrated in our vocabularies. Scroll down to meet her!
Wednesday, November 18th, 7:00 pm
All Bound Up Together by Martha S. Jones
RSVP for this free ZOOM event!

Co-sponsored by the Grand Rapids Public Library &
the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council
All Bound Up Together & Reading into Suffrage History
In All Bound Up Together, Martha S. Jones explores the roles played by nineteenth-century black women in the social movements of their communities during the run-up to the twentieth century. Covering three generations of black women activists, Jones demonstrates how the "woman question" was at the core of movements both against slavery and for civil rights.

Unlike nineteenth-century white women activists, who usually created institutions separate from men, black women often organized within already existing churches, political organizations, mutual aid societies, and schools. Jones illustrates how women helped to shape the course of black public culture. More here.
Colleen Alles   
Sophia Ward Brewer
Aided by co-hosts--Colleen Alles, from the Grand Rapids Public Library, and Sophia Brewer, from GGRWHC--you will meet nineteenth-century African American women, like Frances Ellen Watkins Harper. Scroll down for the entire quote from which Jones titles her book. It is from a famous speech by Harper, whom you will meet below.
The final Reading into Suffrage History program will use a loose structure but begin with a pithy review of All Bound Up Together. Please don’t be flummoxed by this book with a lot of footnotes. Ignore them! The text itself is only 200 gripping pages. But do please join us even if you couldn’t finish the book. You will be inspired to pick it up again or for the first time—or just to learn from the evening’s conversation!
Anyone interested is welcome, but the virtual Zoom discussion will require an RSVP.

P.S. There are still a few books available from the Grand Rapids Public Library. Let’s get reading! 

We are all bound up together in one great bundle of humanity, and society cannot trample on the weakest and feeblest of its members without receiving the curse in its own soul.

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825 – 1911)
In 1866, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper made a famous speech at the National Woman’s Rights Convention in New York, the first meeting after the movement’s pause during the Civil War. In her speech entitled “We Are All Bound Up Together,” Harper urged her audience to include African American women in their fight for suffrage. Black women, she said, were facing the double burden of racism and sexism at the same time. The fight for women’s suffrage must also include suffrage for African Americans. The next day, the convention organized the American Equal Rights Association to work for suffrage for both African Americans and women. However, it soon split into rival factions over whether to support the Fifteenth Amendment, granting only African American men the right to vote. Harper, along with Frederick Douglass and others, supported the amendment and helped to form the American Woman Suffrage Association. Suffragists led by the radical Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony held out for universal suffrage and formed the National Woman Suffrage Association. The two groups did not join again for twenty years.

Reading into Suffrage History 
Prior to the March pandemic shut-down, we had already planned to follow our August 26th centennial celebration with opportunities to talk about books on suffrage history. We thank the Grand Rapids Public Library for partnering with us for three virtual discussions, particularly Colleen Alles for her graciousness as a host. These evenings have helped to ease the loss of all our in-person celebrations.
Soon, we will publish reports on the discussions of all three books in this series—and consider the continuation of reading together again in the future. Keep on reading about women’s history!
During this challenging year, the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council has pivoted to virtual salutes after losing in-person celebrations of the centennial of the 19th Amendment. We have rededicated ourselves to honoring the long and costly battle for the universal right to vote at the same time we pause to reconsider how we will more fully and effectively embrace the women’s histories of our entire community. 

Please continue to celebrate with the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council virtually and in print! Watch for us via this electronic newsletter, follow us on Facebook, find our monthly features in Women’s Lifestyle Magazine, and sign up for our hard-copy newsletter, if you haven’t already – at! Stay tuned, stay safe, and stay exercised!
Stay home and stay safe--but celebrate with us virtually and in print! 
GGRWHC |  | 616-574-7307
Hats off to the historical women who have shaped West Michigan!
Please take a moment to forward this message to others you know who may be interested in women's history. If you've received this message as a forward, consider joining our mailing list in order to receive future updates about programming.

Thank you for your interest in preserving and celebrating the history of the many phenomenal women who've helped to shape West Michigan!  If you aren't already a supporter of the Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council, consider investing in our work as a volunteer or with an annual donation.  Visit our website for more information and the ability to donate online.