Yesterday I rode my bicycle. I rode through town without a male escort. I have a college education. I love my job, which I chose myself as a career.
I also voted!
Women have come a long way toward equal rights in the United States! As I walked into the center where I could cast my vote this week, I thought about the first women’s rights conference in Seneca Falls, New York. As I went into the voting booth, I quietly thanked those women. I thanked them for the many years they worked hard and passionately, and for the many attempts they made for the passage of an Amendment to the Constitution of the United States which would allow women the right to vote. Some women were jailed for picketing the White House for their right to vote. (Women were the first to picket the White House in protest.)
Did you know there are countries in the world where women do not have the right to vote?
I recently became a grandmother and a friend sent me an article about a group of grandmothers from all over the world that have gotten together to do some very amazing things. One especially caught my eye because I have always been fascinated with Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. Harriet Tubman’s attitude and strength of courage are something I greatly admire. Now I admire Joan Southgate too! This is an excerpt from the article in Yes! magazine:
“Joan Southgate: Walking to Retrace the Underground Railroad
“Joan Southgate, retired Cleveland social worker and grandmother of nine, used to walk a daily mile for exercise—’an old lady stroll,’ as she described it. Then one day she felt a calling to praise her ancestors who walked hundreds of miles to freedom: She decided to retrace their steps along the Underground Railroad.
In 2002, at age 73, Southgate began walking the 519 miles from Ripley, Ohio to St. Catharines, Ontario, Harriet Tubman’s terminus on the Underground Railroad. Traveling 10 miles a day, she visited Underground Railroad sites, gave presentations at schools, and slept in the homes of welcoming strangers, her own “safe houses.”
Cleveland’s Underground Railroad codename was “Hope” and Southgate, motivated by her pilgrimage, founded Restore Cleveland Hope to save the city’s only remaining Underground Railroad house from demolition. To raise money for the project, Southgate, at age 80, walked another 250 miles from Canada back to Cleveland, completing the final mile with 170 companions inspired by her journey.
The house will open next year as an Underground Railroad teaching center where Southgate hopes people will learn ‘what is possible in the way of changing the world and loving people.'”