The Virginia NOW Foremothers Project
New Videos Up on YouTube Irregularly
VA NOW Historian, Simone Roberts is currently building an oral history project and microhistory on VaNOW. The focus is the personal recollections of the women and men involved in the Second Wave movement for the Equal Rights Amendment. Dr. Roberts will travel Virginia and a few other Eastern states to interview these intrepid activists and video record their stories of various legislative battles, social education, activist friendships, and direct actions like the March to Richmond and the fasting in Chicago. From these interviews, we will create an archive of podcasts to serve as both documentation of our feminist past and inspiration for our feminist future.
To support the ERA Oral History Project (camera equipment, SD cards, gas money, computer disc space for back ups of this precious footage, oh and this website to host and make sure you all can see everything! :), please donate to Virginia NOW. When you make your donation, email Simone to tell her of your donation. She will include your name in the list of supporters to accompany the archive. If you donate by check, please include a note that the donation is specifically for the ERA Oral History Project.
Simone is hard at work learning to use FreeMake.com in order to produce the oral history videos. This is taking a little while, since it's the first time Simone has learned to render video in this way (at all), and she wants to get it right.
Collected so far is a 4-hour interview with members of the Congressional Union and several other activists (Marianne Fowler, Pat Harley, Mary Ann Beall, Mary Peterson Hartzler, Lee Perkins, Ray Bridge, Georgia Fuller, and Emily McCoy (of the Turning Point Suffragists Memorial effort), recorded just after the memorial for Jean Crawford in March 2014); a 3 hour interview with Bobbie Frances (who runs EqualRightsAmendment.org and has been the Chair of the ERA Taskforce for NCWO), and a 3 hour interview with Barbara Irvine at the Alice Paul Institute (where Irvine is a founding board member); and a 2 hour interview with Bonnie Becker who was at the heart of implementing Title IX in Virginia.
Paradise is assisting with the video conversions, fixing format issues, and making sure all the clips are "viewable."
Simone has been gifted with lots of photographs and memorabilia from the participants, and with lots of digital documents ranging from copies of The ERA Times to a few letters and other papers Jean Crawford's family chose to share with the archive. There is a lot of work to be done, new skills to be learned, about 30 more people to interview (if they all agree!), and only two people doing it on a volunteer basis. Hang in there! We're bringing this huge project along as fast as we can!
Mary Peterson Hartzler and Paradise Kendra
© Photographed by Paradise Kendra
Check out this great blog that tells the story
of 26 August 1981, the day the movement
shut down the RNC in DC, with a chain
and determination too strong to cut.
THE AUGUST 26th FILES
by Lee Perkins
The Virginia legislature of 1982 failed to ratify the ERA by THREE VOTES!!! We hope this archive will serve as a catalyst to, at long, long last, ratify the amendment that would grant women full legal humanity in the US Constitution and assure that no kind of sex-based discrimination will ever be allowed again.
Daughter of No Comment
Mary Peterson Hartzler served an essential role in the demonstrations and civil disobedience of Virginia feminists in the push to ratify the ERA. She was the "bag lady," the bail money. She marched to Richmond, and she wrote a regular column in. Inspired by the NO COMMENT department of Ms. Magazine, Mary wrote Daughter of No Comment, a regular feminist opinion column from 1994-2007.
Here we link to the ERA Network which promotes our current efforts for the ERA. In future, we will be building in archive of Virginia feminists at the forefront of the first ratification movement.
History of the American Women's Rights Movement in 1848.
An archive of over 400 images of the civil rights protests in Farmville, VA in 1963 -- a critical moment in Virginia's history. The archive is available on-line from the special collections of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
Flora Crater was one of Virginia's intrepid second wave activists. She deeded her papers to the Univeristy of Virginia Library upon her death, and the archive is both extensive and rich. Included are her journals, newspaper clippings, records of votes in the General Assembly (a one-woman Richmond Sunlight!), and her feminist newsletter that was a national resource. Some of Flora Crater's work is also archived with her daughter-in-law's papers. The Frances Mae Kubitz Crater's papers are archived at the special collections of Vanderbilt University, as Frances Crater founded the Nashville NOW chapter in Tenessee in 1971 (click for a PDF).
Several of these women came to Virginia and elsewhere in the US to work for ratification with us. This PDF collects summaries of interviews conducted with women in the UK. Collected and summarized by Viv Honeybourne and Ilona Singer of The Feminist Archive, these interviews demonstrate the differences and the similarities of the women's movement internationally. They are fascinating.
This on-line archive houses oral histories with several prominent activists from the Civil Rights Movement in Virginia. While much of the history of the movement in the Deep South has been well documented, this archive is one a few that chronicles action and work in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Historical essay on the first feminist wave.
Breaking down barriers for women!
Women are 53% percent of the population. Our stories are worth telling. These museums tell them.