All posts tagged: Suffrage Ornament

Nannie Helen Burroughs: Inspirational Women Who Wouldn’t Take “No” As An Answer

1 comment

It’s early on March 1, 2021—on the cusp of the transition from Black History Month and on to Women’s History Month. And we have the perfect We Can Do It Woman to introduce. Nannie Helen Burroughs.

And here’s why.

Burroughs was born May 2, 1879. Although she was the daughter of former slaves, she graduated high school with honors and went on to become a businesswoman, bookkeeper, secretary, civil rights activist and suffragist. But more than anything, she was a dedicated educator. “Education and justice,” she explained, “are democracy’s only life insurance.”

Burroughs’ legacy of determination is an important takeaway for us. Never one to let a few closed doors stand in her way, she worked to turn No into Yes. For example, as The Washington Post recently explained, after graduating, she hoped to teach domestic science. But the Columbia Public Schoo refused to hire her–not because she was African-American, but because she was “too Black.”

Undaunted, Burroughs worked to raise the money to start her own school. She realized her dream for improving opportunities for Black women in 1908 when she founded the National Training School for Women and Girls in Washington, DC. Here she taught for the rest of her life—until May 20, 1961.

Nannie Helen Burroughs bridged generations. Booker T. Washington was an inspiration early in her life, and later in life she befriended a young Martin Luther King, Jr.

As a suffragist, Burroughs worked for women’s rights. Although the 19th Amendment passed in 1920, she did not live to see the passage of either the Civil Rights Act (1964) or the Voting Right Act (1965), which helped to overcome the state and local barriers to equality.

Burroughs fought as a Black and a woman. But most of all she wanted individuals to have self-respect and purpose. “Having standards isn’t really for anyone else,” she wrote. “You should want to have them for yourself.”

The Literary Ladies Guide named Nannie Helen Burroughs one of “12 African-American Suffragists Who Shouldn’t be Overlooked.” We agree, and when we introduced our We Can Do It! Doll ornaments for Christmas 2020 in honor of the 19thAmendment Centennial, Nannie was one of our popular figures. Her life and her Can Do spirit are an inspiration for women of all ages.

Available on Etsy

Available on Etsy

 

Kendra BonnettNannie Helen Burroughs: Inspirational Women Who Wouldn’t Take “No” As An Answer

Happy Birthday, Susan | A Strong American Woman: Suffragist Susan B. Anthony!

No comments

The suffragist Susan B. Anthony would be 201 today.

 

Feb 15, 1820 to March 13, 1906, Adams, Massachusetts

Susan B Anthony ArrestedAlthough suffragist Susan B. Anthony didn’t live to see the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920, she a leading force in the fight for women’s voting rights. From a family of ardent social reformers who worked on anti-slavery and the temperance movements, she dedicated her life to women’s suffrage.While their efforts on behalf of women’s voting rights were largely peaceful, Susan B. Anthony was not above actively forcing the issue. In spite of not yet having won the right to vote, in 1872, Anthony and 14 other Rochester (NY) women voted in the presidential election.

Suffragist Susan B. Anthony Arrested!

Susan B. Anthony was arrested on November 18, 1872. Her trial for violating the state laws of New York, which only allowed men to vote, began in June of the following year in the Circuit Court of the United States for the Northern District—Justice Ward Hunt presiding.

At her trial, Anthony gave an impassioned speech (ignoring Justice Hunt when he told her to stop talking). She said, “You have trampled under foot every vital principle of our government. My natural rights, my civil rights, my political rights, my judicial rights, are all alike ignored.”

Although Anthony was found guilty and fined $100, she refused to pay what she called “your unjust penalty.” And even though she never paid the fine, the court neglected to jail her. To do so would have given her the right to escalate the case to the Supreme Court. (And we certainly couldn’t have that!)

In 1878, Stanton and Anthony officially presented Congress with an amendment calling to give women the right to vote. At the time, it was known as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment. Ultimately, at the time of its passage, it became the 19thAmendment to the Constitution.

Although she did not live long enough to see the Amendment passed, on its 100th anniversary in 2020, President Trump used the occasion to pardon Anthony for voting back in 1872.

Celebrating We Can Do It! Women

Nannie Helen Burroughs

In honor of women, we created our We Can Do It! figures. Every ornament, keychain, sachet, t-shirt begins with a careful eye for research. Then we commission original designs and hand craft the figures…with just a little help from Kendra’s sewing machine. Our We Can Do It! Women are inspirational to everyone who strives to achieve. They’re a great teaching tool too. A booklet about the life and accomplishments of our We Can Do It! woman is included with every item.

Happy birthday, Susan B. Anthony!

We Can Do It Women

Kendra BonnettHappy Birthday, Susan | A Strong American Woman: Suffragist Susan B. Anthony!