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We will continue telling the stories of suffragists in 2022

Bonnie L Gross  | Published on 9/19/2021

Just like the suffragists, who always persevered, the Broward League has not given up on telling their story through an exhibit members created about the suffrage movement.

The exhibit, “Votes for Women: A Story of Perseverance,” finally was displayed at the Main Library sixth-floor gallery for the month of August. Originally scheduled for August 2020 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, it instead was displayed a year later.

Still, COVID kept many away and prevented the League from holding any public events that would have attracted people.

And so we persist. With excellent materials now created and stored, we plan to use these items for smaller displays in 2022. Themed displays now envisioned are:

  • In February for Black History Month, an exhibit on black suffragists. We have nine excellent panels that tell the little-known stories of remarkable African American women. The League is seeking a venue and partners for this project. (Does anyone have a good contact with local members of the Delta Sigma Theta, the sorority which was so active in the suffrage movement?)
  • In March for Women’s History Month, four themed exhibits at regional libraries themed around Florida suffragists, founding feminists, little-known suffragists and suffragists who were social champions.
  • In August 2022, we have reserved the Main Library gallery to mount the entire exhibit again. This time, we hope to offer talks, events and programming to bring the suffrage story to life.

One highlight of the August exhibit at the Main Library was the addition of fascinating suffrage items from the collection of Ron Book and his daughter Sen. Lauren Book. These museum-quality artifacts great enhanced displays created by League members and panels from the National Portrait Gallery and the National Archives.

Margie Rohrbach and Bonnie Gross led the committee that worked for 18 months on the exhibit and plans (many of which, alas, were cancelled) to celebrate the anniversary of the 19th Amendment.

If you have connections for venues for our 2022 exhibits or other ways to contribute, please contact Margie at mediaquilter@gmail.com.

This exhibit would not have been possible without the help of many dedicated League members and community partners. Many thanks to all of you:

  • Our Suffragist sponsors – without your contributions, we could not have created the 35 posters telling the stories of these amazing women
  • Senator Lauren Book and her father Ron Book for the generous loan of their Women’s Suffrage collection; and to their exhibit team who created such a professional display
  • Lauren Bhaggan and John Feeney of the Plantation Historical Museum
  • Friends of the Fort Lauderdale Libraries, especially Alison Rials, Marsha Souza, and Barbara Correll
  • Broward County Main Library
  • North Regional and Northwest Regional Libraries and program director, Hayley St. John Ayre
  • LWVBC Members who volunteered with the exhibit displays: Katy Syed, Carol Smith, Denise Elliott, Andrea Angelucci, Barbara Correll, Bonnie Gross, Monica Elliott
  • Our past president Katy Syed for her encouragement, persistence, and help along the way. Katy made the connection with the Books and arranged for their amazing artifacts to be displayed as part of our exhibit.
  • Sara Syed, who created our beautiful poster, flyer and bookmarks
  • Our president, Monica Elliott, who patiently solved any problem and who helped with every aspect of creating this exhibit.