Ida at the March

Published quickly in 2017 to hand out at the Women’s March.

This Is Important issue #2 covers the many different ways that people have told a particular story. The story is of Ida B. Wells busting into the middle of the 1913 women’s march in Washington, DC where she had been told she would have to go to the back of the march rather than walk with the women from Illinois in the procession ordered by U.S. state.

cover of ida at the march zine

As I read up on this incident and on the march, inspired by the group Heterodoxy, and the histories of racism in the US and England’s feminist movements, I took notes for this later zine. Different sources told the story differently and I had to go back to original sources as far as possible. My suspicion was that Ida was not (as many sources claimed) the only black woman at the march. That just couldn’t be true!

The 1913 Women Suffrage Parade has infinite depth!

The result: Plumbed some depths of arguments between various white feminists at the time pro and con “letting” the black women from Chicago march with white women from Illinois. I found some fascinating and lovely records of the Alpha Women’s Suffrage Club from Chicago, and of a black women’s sorority that formed at Howard University specifically in order to march together in DC.

I see now that this march is going to be on the new $20 bill design in 2020. I wonder if it will be all about white woman on a white horse or if they might put an illustration of Ida in her sash and fancy hat. We’ll see.

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