Alice Paul, important civil rights leader of the 20th century
From Doris Stevens’ book “Jailed for Freedom”— about suffrage leader Alice Paul: “Most people conjure up a menacing picture when a person is called not only a general, but a militant one. In appearance Alice Paul is anything but menacing.”
Stevens continues: “Quiet, almost mouselike, this frail young Quakeress sits in silence and baffles you with her contradictions. Large, soft, gray eyes that strike you with a positive impact make you feel the indescribable force and power behind them. A mass of soft brown hair, caught easily at the neck, makes the contour of her head strong and graceful. Tiny, fragile hands that look more like an X-ray picture of hands, rest in her lap in Quakerish pose. Her whole atmosphere when she is not in action is one of strength and quiet determination. In action she is swift, alert, almost panther-like in her movements. Dressed always in simple frocks, preferably soft shades of purple, she conforms to an individual style and taste of her own rather than to the prevailing vogue.”
January 11th is Alice Paul’s birthday. January is a powerful month for birthdays of important activists. Lucretia Mott. Joan of Arc. Sojourner Truth. And many more.
My grandmother Edna worked with suffrage leader Alice Paul on the national campaign to win Votes for Women.
It’s the goal of many Americans to have the day of January 11th (Alice Paul’s birthday) designated as a national holiday. Have you signed the petition? Have you thought about planning high tea during 2011 for your friends or organization as a way to talk about the issues?
Take a look at this video piece about Alice that was produced by the Alice Paul Institute. They have ecards that you can send to friends and associates . . . for example, “You have a voice. Thank Alice.” “You can speak up. Thank Alice.” Author Mary Walton calls Alice Paul “the most overlooked American civil rights leader of the 20th century.” One source worth checking out is an Alice Paul interview conducted by Amelia Fry that’s available online.
Posted in 19th amendment, 60-Second History Lesson, Alice Paul, civil rights, human rights, nonviolent resistance, right to vote, Votes for Women, voting rights, White House Picketing, woman's suffrage, women, women suffrage, Women's Suffrage, women's history
Tagged Alice Paul Day, Alice Paul Institute