Over one hundred women across the United States were invited to join in a photographic collaboration, A Yellow Rose Project. These photographers were asked to make work in response, reflection, or reaction to the ratification of the 19th Amendment.
From inception, the goal of this project was to provide a focal point and platform for image makers to share contemporary viewpoints as we approach the centennial of this event, to gain a deeper understanding of American history and culture, to build a bridge from the past to the present and future.
August 18, 2020, marked the centennial of the 19th Amendment. It was on that day 100 years ago, women wearing yellow roses stood shoulder to shoulder in Tennessee awaiting the roll call of men that would cast their votes for or against a woman’s right to a voice in government. The bright flower was an outward symbol of their expression to gain equal representation. After decades of untold risk—through oppression, brutality, incarceration, and even starvation—women on many fronts, in their communities, on the state level as well as the national scale, fought against insurmountable odds to gain the right to be a part of the democratic process.
Though this movement granted rights to some women, and this achievement in itself is to be acknowledged and commemorated, the struggle did not end there. It was not until much later that all American women, regardless of race, were given the same privilege. Due to state laws and prohibitive policies, many women of colour were unable to exercise their rights even given this momentous event.
In light of these facts, A Yellow Rose Project looks back upon this part of history from various perspectives, inviting both a critical eye as well as one that sees how far we have come. Finding inspiration in the power of women to influence public perception and the perseverance to continue the arduous fight to obtain equal rights beyond ratification, the project gathers women in a collection of visions and voices to continue the conversation.
A Yellow Rose Project