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Cartoonist Explores Hidden History of Women’s Suffrage

Cartoonist Caitlin Cass delves into the complex history of women’s voting rights in her new graphic book, “Suffrage Song: The Haunted History of Gender, Race, and Voting Rights in the U.S.” The book reveals how some White suffragettes fought for their right to vote while neglecting the rights of people of color.

Cass started the project in 2019, and her roughly 230-page book features ghostly illustrations to symbolize the haunting past of the suffrage movement. She highlights key figures like Susan B. Anthony, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, and Fannie Lou Hamer, showing their contributions and the struggles they faced. Cass emphasizes that the movement was a collective effort, not just the work of well-known individuals.

Cass, who once taught at an all-girls school in Buffalo, New York, was inspired by the communal spirit of suffrage songs, which she believes helped unify and motivate the movement despite their flaws. Her work aims to honor all who contributed to the fight for voting rights, bringing a new perspective to this important chapter in history.