The Briscoe Center proudly presents “On with the Fight!,” an exhibit that documents 150 years of women’s activism through the Briscoe Center’s collections. Open until July, the exhibit is drawn from the center’s extensive social justice and women’s history collections.
“‘On with the Fight!’ commemorates the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, through which women gained the right to vote,” said Don Carleton, executive director of the Briscoe Center. “In particular, I hope that the exhibit will inspire students on campus to explore the history of this important constitutional victory and consider how the example of the suffragists applies to how injustice is experienced and challenged today.”
“On with the Fight!” includes materials from the papers of Ann Richards, Francis “Sissy” Farenthold, Molly Ivins, Alice Embree, and Frieda Werden, as well as the Women’s Commonwealth Archive, the Lesbian Issues Collection, the Labor Movement of Texas Collection, and the Texas Woman’s Christian Temperance Union Scrapbook. Together these collections help illustrate the achievements, contradictions, and complexities of women’s activism in Texas and across the United States over the past 150 years.
During that period, such activism evolved as each generation interpreted discriminatory social structures and attitudes. Women’s activism has not always united disparate groups into collective action, nor have its aims and achievements always resulted in equity. As public conversations about gender identity and sexual harassment have an increasing political impact, the history of women’s activism provides context for understanding present-day experiences of inequality and discrimination at the intersections of gender, race, and social class.