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Finish the Fight!
Cover of Finish the Fight!
Finish the Fight!
The Brave and Revolutionary Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote
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A New York Times bestseller! Who was at the forefront of women's right to vote? We know a few famous names, like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, but what about so many others from diverse...
A New York Times bestseller! Who was at the forefront of women's right to vote? We know a few famous names, like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, but what about so many others from diverse...
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  • A New York Times bestseller!
    Who was at the forefront of women's right to vote? We know a few famous names, like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, but what about so many others from diverse backgrounds—black, Asian, Latinx, Native American, and more—who helped lead the fight for suffrage? On the hundredth anniversary of the historic win for women's rights, it's time to celebrate the names and stories of the women whose stories have yet to be told.
    Gorgeous portraits accompany biographies of such fierce but forgotten women as Yankton Dakota Sioux writer and advocate Zitkála-Šá, Mary Eliza Church Terrell, who cofounded the National Association of Colored Women (NACW), and Mabel Ping-Hua Lee, who, at just sixteen years old, helped lead the biggest parade in history to promote the cause of suffrage.
    FINISH THE FIGHT will fit alongside important collections that tell the full story of America's fiercest women. Perfect for fans of GOOD NIGHT STORIES FOR REBEL GIRLS and BAD GIRLS THROUGHOUT HISTORY.

Excerpts-

  • From the cover CHAPTER 1The Haudenosaunee Model

    On July 14, 1848, an advertisement appeared in a newspaper in Seneca Falls in upstate New York, announcing "a Convention to discuss the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of woman." A few days later, on July 19, some three hundred women and men gathered in a local church for what is often said to be the first meeting dedicated specifically to women's rights. There, after two days of impassioned conversation, one hundred people signed a document modeled on the Declaration of Independence—but adding two words to its most famous passage: "All men and women are created equal."
    The document was known as the Declaration of Sentiments. It had been hashed out on a parlor table by a small group of women, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott. Elizabeth was a well-to-do woman who was chafing under traditional ideas about marriage and motherhood. Lucretia was a Quaker, a member of a religious group that already had strong ideas about equality between men and women. Like many of the early suffragists, these two women were ardent abolitionists—a term for people, both black and white, who were fighting to put an end to slavery.
    The fight against slavery spurred some white women to think about their own situations. Although marriage was hardly slavery, women in 1848, no matter their race, had highly unequal rights compared with men. In some states, married women were required to surrender all their property to their husbands. In a divorce, women often had no right to custody of their children. And in many places it was not illegal for their husbands to beat them.
    Even in the abolitionist movement, men and women weren't equal. At meetings, women often weren't allowed to speak. At one antislavery meeting in London in 1840, the women were forced to sit silently behind a curtain, which left many of them, including Elizabeth and Lucretia, fuming.
    The Declaration of Sentiments, mostly written by Elizabeth, demanded total equality for women in economics, family life, and religion. It also included a demand that women have an equal right to vote—a demand so radical that Lucretia opposed including it in the document at all, warning that it would make the Seneca Falls Convention look "ridiculous."
    And many newspapers that wrote about the convention did make fun of it. One called it "the most shocking and unnatural event ever recorded in the history of womanity." The African American abolitionist Frederick Douglass—who attended the meeting and supported women's right to vote—observed that a meeting dedicated to the rights of animals would have been greeted with more respect. That's how radical the notion of women's suffrage was at the time.
    But the idea of women's equality, and women voting, wasn't outrageous to everyone in 1848. In fact, some women in America already had a say in choosing their leaders—and they were living right in the convention's backyard.

    The town of Seneca Falls was located in the historic territory of the Haudenosaunee, a confederacy of six Native American nations (including the Seneca Nation, which gave the town its name) stretching across what became New York State. And long before the arrival of Europeans, the Haudenosaunee, also known as the Iroquois, practiced a form of representative democracy that gave significant power to women.
    Haudenosaunee society was matrilineal, meaning that the clan you belonged to depended on your mother's ancestors, not your father's. Women made decisions about the land and farmed it, too. They owned the fruits of their own labor, and they kept their own...

About the Author-


  • Veronica Chambers is the editor for Narrative Projects at The New York Times. She is a prolific author, best known for the New York Times-bestseller Finish the Fight!, which was named a best book of the year by The Washington Post, the New York Public Library, and others. Her other works include the critically acclaimed memoir Mama's Girl, Shirley Chisholm Is a Verb, and the anthologies The Meaning of Michelle—a collection by writers celebrating former first lady Michelle Obama—and Queen Bey: A Celebration of the Power and Creativity of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. Born in Panama and raised in Brooklyn, she writes often about her Afro-Latina heritage. She speaks, reads, and writes Spanish, but she is truly fluent in Spanglish. You can find her online at veronicachambers.com or on Twitter and Instagram @vvchambers.

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Finish the Fight!
The Brave and Revolutionary Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote
Veronica Chambers
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