More Chicago World's Fair

Title

More Chicago World's Fair

Description

Every one of this month’s cancelled conferences, lectures, performances combined wouldn’t be as big as the Chicago World’s Fair was in 1893.

600 women spoke in one week of the fair - 6 of them were African-American. 🧵

The Black women who spoke at the fair were the most prominent of the day: Hallie Q Brown & Fannie Barrier Williams, who had fought fruitlessly for better representation in Chicago; Anna Julia Cooper; Sarah Jane Woodson Early; Fanny Jackson Coppin & Frances Ellen Watkins Harper.

Despite the frustration African-Americans and white women felt at their minor roles in the fair, they didn’t boycott - they all went to Chicago. (Read 👇for backstory.)

The women’s rights movement was more than 50 years old, and its aging leaders all took the podium at a 7-day “World Congress of Representative Women” in May.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B Anthony spoke, as did their former rivals Julia Ward Howe & Lucy Stone.

They had split in 1869 in a bitter ideological dispute about the 15th Amendment -- whether Black men should vote before white women.

Stone and Howe supported the 15th Amendment; Stanton and Anthony opposed it, in blisteringly racist terms.

Nearly 25 years later, old animosities had softened, commitment to Black equality had all but disappeared, and the cast of characters had barely changed.

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper reprised the role she played in 1869, demanding voting rights for those who were both Black and female.

Her words still resonate: “What we need today is not simply more voters, but better voters.” #BlackSuffragists #Suffrage100

Creator

Daily Suffragist

Date

12/3/2020

Files

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Citation

Daily Suffragist, “More Chicago World's Fair,” Daily Suffragist, accessed October 27, 2021, https://dailysuffragist.omeka.net/items/show/271.

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