Category: Protest: Past & Present

Faith, Reproductive Politics and Resistance: A Conversation with the Reverend Joan Bates Forsberg

Reverend Joan Bates Forsberg played a notable role in struggles for contraceptive access in the 1950s and 1960s and abortion access in the 1970s. Although her name regularly appears in historical accounts of Griswold v. Connecticut, the 1965 Supreme Court case that overturned Connecticut’s ban on contraceptives, historians have repeatedly described Forsberg as a minister’s… Read more →

We Can Do Better Than the Suffragists

How many references to suffragists have you seen in the news lately? In April, the US Treasury announced that five suffragists will appear on the back of the new ten-dollar bill. Three months later, Hillary Clinton wore a white pantsuit — a reference to the suffragists’ white dresses — to become the first female presidential… Read more →

Housewives Against Dictatorship: The Bolivian Hunger Strike of 1978

On December 28, 1977 four women and fourteen children arrived at the offices of Archbishop Nelson Manrique in La Paz, Bolivia and began a hunger strike in the highest capital city in the world. Aurora de Lora, Nely de Paniagua, Angélica de Flores, and Luzmila de Pimentel had travelled two hundred miles from the mining… Read more →

Protesting the ERA

Like many of my fellow Americans, I was glued to the television on election night. After months of the media and politicos enumerating the many reasons why Donald Trump would never win, I watched in shock as he became president-elect of the United States. The following morning, I learned that 42% of American women who… Read more →

Emotion and Fantasy: Marcus Garvey and a Blueprint for Modern Protest Movements

Here’s a trivia question: what was the largest African American organization in history? Hint: It wasn’t the NAACP, not SNCC or CORE or the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, not even the Nation of Islam with its 1995 Million Man March. Instead, it was the Universal Negro Improvement Association, a curious and short-lived movement that was… Read more →

More Than Sponges: Children’s Letters to Presidents and “Go Back to Africa”

  Standing Rock. #BlackLivesMatter. Periods for Pence. Women’s March on Washington. Political demonstrations have dominated the headlines this year. With the startling outcome of this year’s presidential election, many scholars and activists believe that political protests will define the next four years under the Trump administration. The act of protest has a long and complicated history,… Read more →