Crash course on the suffrage movement through film and video

Posted by on March 23, 2012 in 60-Second History Lesson | 4 comments

Film and video play an important role in bringing the suffrage movement to the  forefront of public awareness.

YouTube is a good place to begin. A growing and significant source of suffrage educational videos on YouTube are made by young people themselves, in conjunction with school assignments and special programs.

By far the most popular video about women’s suffrage history recently has been the Lady Gaga parody, “Bad Romance,” in 2012 that reached an unprecedented number of people through YouTube and social media.

This educational video, “Bad Romance,” by Soomo Publishing has had viewers in the millions online since its release in March 2012. The making of the music video about suffragist Alice Paul, the National Woman’s Party, US President Wilson, and the ratification of the 19th Amendment is also available on YouTube. This music video is, for many, their first introduction to suffrage movement history. Others have been introduced to suffrage movement history through “Iron Jawed Angels” (also about Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party.

A survey of other creative works about how women won the vote:

1) “Iron Jawed Angels” is an HBO production from 2004 about Alice Paul, the National Woman’s Party, and the campaign to win the 19th amendment. In spite of the number of years this film has been around, it’s a favorite among organizations throughout the nation as a fundraiser, as well as history teachers. There is considerable supplementary teaching material available, including Teach with Movies.

2.) The film “Mary Poppins” is still popular as an introduction to the suffrage movement in England through one character, a sufragette.

3.) Other excellent documentaries include the Ken Burns’ documentary on Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, “Not for Ourselves Alone.” “Makers: Women who make America,” the documentary on the more contemporary version of the women’s movement.  “California Women Win the Vote,” “One Woman, One Vote.”  “Vote for Them” by Slam Poet Carlos Andrés Gómez deals with suffragist Alice Paul. Suffrage films from the silent era at the turn of the 20th century have some interesting features. Silent film and the suffrage movement is explored in this Suffrage Wagon posting.

4 Comments

  1. Thank you for running this special article. I didn’t know anything about the suffrage movement. The schools aren’t any better now. Teach to the test is the craze. But what test? A way of living that doesn’t think twice about taking a knife to the heart of our history. I watched all these videos. What an insight.

  2. It’s important in our culture to reach out and share. The forces that direct the political economic at any cost are ever present. If it means war, so be it. If it means being blind to climate change, so be it. It has caused us to feel that feeling grief about our world must be a pathology or personal. We have shut up about our grief in the world, as something to be ashamed us. We are a nation of lonely shutdown people. To know about the suffrage movement springs the prison door and makes us more aware of our own feelings and other people. It brings us full circle.

  3. Love this video.

  4. Thanks for passing this on.

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