SUFFRAGE SYMPOSIUM: THE BIG DEBATE
August 23, 2022
USCA Etherredge Center, 240 Scholar Loop, Aiken, SC
Dr. Melissa DeVelvis, Augusta University
Prof. Meeghan Kane, Benedict College
Dr. Sarah King, USCA
Moderator: Dr. Heather Peterson, USCA
With the national premiere of an original playlet, The Big Debate, this event brings to life the fraught friendship and the competition for recognition between voting rights stalwarts Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony. The 15th Amendment, passed in 1869, states the right to vote “shall not be denied or abridged … on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” The 19th Amendment, passed in 1919, states the right to vote “shall not be denied or abridged … on account of sex.” Within that 50-year span was a contentious rift in the suffrage movement over race and gender that has not healed in much of the U.S. to this day. Explore this division and its repercussions through live theater followed by a panel discussion among local historians.