The United States is marking 100 years since the passage of the 19th Amendment – which gave some women the right to vote. (Texas Standard actually marked this moment in 2019 as Texas was a little ahead of the rest of the U.S. on this front).
One way to explore more of the history of the suffragettes is to visit a digital exhibit focused on Oakwood Cemetery in Austin. Jennifer Chenoweth put the exhibit together as the cemetery’s museum site coordinator. She describes it as an “interactive digital book” that takes readers through a broad history, a specific look at the challenges for women of color, and profiles of 14 different individuals who played a role in the movement.
“So one of the things that fascinates me about the Oakwood Cemetery is that it had all the original founders of Austin, and a lot of Texas leaders as well, buried there,” Chenoweth said.
She said digging into the cemetery’s ties to the passage of the 19th Amendment was, “really quite an exciting investigation.”
One story the exhibit features is that of Maude Craig Sampson Williams:
“She was one of the people who corresponded to the national women’s suffrage movement to try and join and to get her women’s club in El Paso to be part of that membership and was denied that simply because they were Black and there was intense racial discrimination between the groups,” Chenoweth said.