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Tuesday, October 13, 2020

On-line series on voting rights resumes on October 15

‘Long Rhode to the Vote’ tackles race and suffrage, Oct. 15

Dawn Bergantino

The University of Rhode Island continues its “Long Rhode to the Vote: Suffrage Centennial Lecture Series” on Thursday, Oct. 15, with respected historian and author Martha S. Jones who will discuss race and suffrage. Jones is the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and a professor of history at Johns Hopkins University.

This year marks two monumental events in American history: the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, granting American women the right to vote, and the 150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment that at least nominally enfranchised African American men. 

As part of the commemoration of both of these milestones, the University of Rhode Island is holding a series of virtual lectures, panels and discussions over the course of the 2020-2021 academic year.

Jones’ free virtual discussion, “How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All,” begins at 7 p.m. Registration is required.

Given the historic nature of U.S. Senator Kamala Harris’ candidacy for vice president as the first Black woman and first South Asian-American woman on a major party ticket, and the important role that Black women will play in the 2020 election, the discussion comes at an opportune time.

As Jones noted in a recent Washington Post op-ed, “Simply put, Black women are no longer a ‘first’ in politics — they are a force.”

Jones is the author of several books, including Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All (2020); Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America (2018) and All Bound Up Together: The Woman Question in African American Public Culture 1830-1900 (2007). 

She is the winner of the Organization of American Historians’ Liberty Legacy Award for the best book in civil rights history, the American Historical Association’s Littleton-Griswold Prize for the best book in American legal history, and the American Society for Legal History’s John Phillip Reid book award for the best book in Anglo-American legal history.

The series is sponsored by the URI Center for the Humanities, the program in Gender and Women’s Studies, URI’s College of Arts and Sciences, the Honors Program, the Women’s Leadership Council and the Suffrage Centennial Committee.

To register, visit:

Upcoming lectures as part of URI’s “Long Rhode to the Vote: Suffrage Centennial Lecture Series” for fall are:

Thursday, Oct. 29, 7 p.m.

“Suffrage and Sashes: American Pageantry and the Feminist Movement”

Hilary Levey Friedman, sociologist, author and president of the Rhode Island chapter of the National Organization for Women, will delve into the history of the suffrage sash and how it influenced the Miss America Pageant.

Thursday, Nov. 12, 7 p.m.

“Transnational Suffrage Activism in Post-revolutionary Mexico”

Kathleen McIntyre, URI assistant professor of gender and women’s studies and associate director of the URI Honors Program, will discuss her research on the suffrage movement in post-revolutionary Mexico.

Wednesday, Nov. 18, 7 p.m.

“Current Trends in Voting Rights”

Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, who helped spearhead the “Shall Not Be Denied” statewide initiative celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment, will discuss the election of 2020 as well as recent trends in voting rights.

Additionally, “Rightfully Hers” a pop-up display created by The National Archives, in partnership with the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission will be on display on the first floor of Robert L. Carothers Library and Learning Commons through October 2020.

For more information on URI’s “Long Rhode to the Vote: Suffrage Centennial Lecture Series,” or to register for upcoming lectures, visit: