Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner Discusses Lesser Known Players in the Fight for Women’s Suffrage

Written by on March 20, 2019

Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner has been teaching about womens history for nearly 50 years. The historian-teacher-radio regular isn’t just present in the classroom however. Wagner has spent the better part of her career being the face of women’s history in documentaries, commentaries, and now her newest anthology on the suffrage movement, “The Women’s Suffrage Movement”.

“It was finding that there was a whole history of women that had been hidden from me that really made me a passionate searcher into this information,” said Wagner during a phone interview with host Jill Hopkins.

The historian went on to say that she was taught about “great men, great wars, great dates” in school and finds greater meaning in her work by working towards a more inclusive and balanced basic history education. Wagner loves working on anthologies becuase they’re a way for readers to experience this lesser-known history firsthand.

The book isn’t just on the major players in the fight for equal rights. Wagner focuses specifically on women whose stories and involvement were overshadowed by their white counterparts. Native-American and black women are given a chance to stake their historical claim.

“They raised the issues … we didn’t know that that we’re part of a continuam to bring history forward,” said Wagner.

The anthology specifically gives reverence to the indigenous women who, “had political voice on this land a thousand years ago, and we’re celebrating a hundred.” Wagner speaks to the complex, unbiased standards that some tribal leaders have to meet before the women of their community nominate them to lead.

“The Women’s Suffrage Movement” goes into greater detail on the lesser known stories that shaped the freedom we currently enjoy. Readers can enjoy the text here: and listen to the full interview below.

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