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‘Songs Of Suffrage’ Celebrates 19th Amendment

Bodhi Tree Concerts hopes to also highlight how voting rights are still under attack

Wednesday, August 19, 2020 By Beth Accomando

Bodhi Tree Concerts presents "Songs of Suffrage" (Thursday, Aug. 20 at 5:00 p.m.), a concert to mark the centennial of the passing of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote although not guaranteeing any women the ability to vote.

In 1920, the U.S. Secretary of State certified that the 19th Amendment to the Constitution had been ratified by the required 36 states. It became the law of the land and stated: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” But it would take continued efforts to guarantee that women of color would be able to vote.

Bodhi Tree Concerts recounts the fight for the 19th Amendment through history, songs, and speeches performed by local artists like Mary Munger Taylor who quotes a scene from "Mary Poppins" in which the character leads into a song with these lines: "Suffragettes were distinguished from Suffragists by their willingness to take militant action."

The "Sister Suffragette" lyrics from the 1964 Disney film include: "We’re clearly soldiers in petticoats, dauntless crusaders for women’s votes. Though we adore men individually, we agree that as a group they're rather stupid!"

“Songs of Suffrage” will include authentic suffrage songs from the turn of the century but also include more recent pop culture examples from films like "Mary Poppins," musicals like "Ragtime," and operas like "The Mother of All of Us." The music will be accompanied by historic images, documents, and the spoken word that shed light on the battle for equality.

In the press release, Bodhi Tree Concerts co-founder and director Diana DuMelle states: “The story of women’s suffrage in America gets little attention in most school history books. As a result, many grown women and men lack awareness of the historical status of women, and have little knowledge of women's achievements or the significance of the organizing efforts by 19th and 20th-century feminists.”

Event organizers hope the concert highlights how voting rights are still under attack and the fight for equity continues.

"Songs of Suffrage" is a free event on Facebook and Youtube, but donations are encouraged to help support the non-profit organization during its inability to stage live events during the current pandemic.

All proceeds from the concert will be donated to the Women’s Museum of California in Liberty Station. Now in its ninth season, Bodhi Tree Concerts continues to uphold its mission of "performing intentional acts of kindness through music." The group hires exclusively local artists to inspire community engagement, philanthropy, and enlightenment through music.


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