On August 26, 1920, women were given the right to vote in the United States with the certification of the 19th Amendment. The launch of the Women Soaring Project (WSP) this fall 2020 fortuitously coincides with the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage. It is with great honor that the WSP is able to celebrate this incredible achievement in women's history highlighting exceptional artworks with its inaugural exhibit, Women Suffragists.
The panel of jurors for this show was comprised of the WSP co-founders and advisory board members including Jane Le Skaife, Jackie Lo, Megan Seely, Leah Cluff, Jennifer Lugris, Grace Gray-Adams, Jenifer Vernon and Lesley Doig. While we received 48 submissions from artists all around the world, we voted on the top three pieces that displayed the strongest content and execution in addressing the theme of women's suffrage. We are pleased to announce these winning works are:
First place - Artist Summer Herrera, Dorothy, A Young Activist, 2020
Second place - Artist Ildiko Nova, Fair Representation, 2020
Third place - Artist Angela (Azadeh) Raz, Healing, 2020
Please join us in congratulating these artists, and thank you to all those who participated. To see these works and more, please enter our virtual gallery below.
An interactive arts and culture project seeking to see, know, and appreciate women in history
Charlemae Hill Rollins
“[The genre] includes the greatest number of Negro authors. It is here that all children can build a firm foundation of knowledge of and respect for Negroes. They will be prepared for the first introduction to the concept of different skin color… They now can feel that America is indeed their country.”
Photo Credit: Harsh Research Collection at Carter G. Woodson Regional Library
Charlemae Hill Rollins was an African American librarian who fought for literature reform by fighting stereotypical and offensive portrayals of African Americans in children’s literature. She argued that stories should not encourage readers to feel inferior or superior to other racial groups. Rollins, instead, sought more racially responsible literature for children, and contended that African Americans should take pride in their heritage rather than being hindered by harmful interpretations in offensive and inaccurate publications. In the earliest days of her 30-year career as a Chicago public librarian, Rollins fought racism by pushing for the removal of racist children’s books such as Little Black Sambo and The Pickaninny Twins by Lucy Perkins. In replacement of those detrimental books, she published an annotated bibliography of children’s books about African Americans in 1941 called We Build Together: A Reader’s Guide to Negro Life and Literature for Elementary and High School Use. With it, she endeavored to eliminate negative Black stereotypes from bookshelves and instead fill them with materials portraying Blacks in a positive light. Rollins continued to fight racism throughout her career as a librarian and later broke the color barrier by becoming the first African American to be elected president of the Children’s Services Division of the American Library Association.