A History of Voting Rights

FLORENCE - The Florence-Lauderdale Public Library’s in-depth “Voting Rights in America” series continues through February and March, coinciding with Black History Month and Women’s History Month.

It commemorates the 150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment which banned the restriction of voting based on race. It also commemorates 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which banned the restriction of voting based on sex.

Voter Restoration with the Alabama Voting Rights Diversity Alliance

Thursday, February 20 at 5pm

Learn about Alabama laws related to voter restoration for citizens who have lost their voting rights due to felony convictions. This program is led by Bonita Gill, Coordinator of the Alabama Voting Rights Diversity Alliance (AVRDA). AVRDA is a grassroots coalition that works to increase voter turnout and coordinates voting rights restoration workshops. This event is co-sponsored by Project Say Something.

Buried Truths Podcast Listening Session Tuesday, February 25


We’ll listen to and discuss the first episode of Season 1, which explores the story of Isiah Nixon, a Black man who was murdered because he voted. If you are unfamiliar with podcasts, library staff will be on hand to show you how you can listen to the rest of Buried Truths. This event is a preview for our Buried Truths live recording at FLPL on February 27.

Buried Truths Live: Civil Rights in the Shoals Thursday,

February 27 at 6pm

The Shoals area has a reputation for having experienced more peaceful race relations during the civil rights movement than much of the South. Still, does that reputation tell the whole story?

Hank Klibanoff—Pulitzer Prize-winning author, veteran journalist, and now professor, and Sherhonda Allen, City Editor for the TimesDaily, will explore this question as they co-host a live recording of an episode for Klibanoff’s Peabody-winning podcast Buried Truths.

Klibanoff was a white student at Coffee High School when the schools of Florence integrated. Allen is a black woman who started school at Brooks Elementary shortly after the onset of integration. Through discussion, interviews, and Q&A, the two will explore the Black and White experience in the Shoals during the civil rights era and beyond.

Voices of Women’s Suffrage: A Living History Presentation

Saturday, March 7, 1pm

Get an overview of the suffrage movement while hearing the words of the suffragists themselves with this living history performance by Stephanie Vickers.

Throughout the 72-year struggle to win the American woman’s right to vote, women had to constantly push forward to be heard—especially as public speakers.

This program highlights the dynamic shifts in the different ways women began to speak for their beliefs. Performance excerpts from plays, magazine articles, and famous speeches bring to life the unique voices of the brave women who dared to speak out and fight for their place in American citizenship.

Vickers is a public historian and interpretation specialist who combines storytelling with academic research. She is the Arts Integration Coordinator at the Tennessee Valley Art Association.

Votes for Women:

The Push for a Federal Amendment & the Reemergence of Division Among Suffragists, 1913-1920

Thursday, Mar. 12, 6pm

Dr. Lynne Rieff will share the fascinating & dramatic stories from the final years of the fight for women’s suffrage. She will discuss the stalled efforts to accomplish suffrage at the state level and explore Alabama’s role, and she will discuss the differing strategies that emerged among suffragists during the fight for a federal amendment.

Rieff is Professor of History at UNA & the Director of the UNA Center for Women’s Studies, which is a co-sponsor for this event.

Abolition, Women’s Suffrage, and the Right to Vote - Sunday,

March 15, 2pm

Many suffragists first became involved in activism through the abolition movement (the fight to end slavery). While the two movements overlapped significantly, there was also friction, particularly with the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment. Historian Linda T. Wynn will explore these collaborations and clashes, as well as discussing the roles that racism and sexism played in the relationship between the movements.

Linda T. Wynn is the Assistant Director for State Programs for the Tennessee Historical Commission. She also is a Lecturer of History at Fisk University.

Women of the Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area, Tuesday, March 24, 6pm

Learn about the lives and work of local women in this women’s history talk by Dr. Carolyn Barske Crawford, Director of the Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area. This program is based on the exhibit and explores some of the societal contributions by women of the MSNHA.

The exhibit was co-created by Josh Grigsby, Julia McGee, and Lacie Rowe through an Exhibit Design course at UNA, in anticipation of the 19th Amendment centennial. There is also an educator packet available for teachers at msnha.una.edu/resources.