By State Representative Chris Taylor
I’m at my third American Exchange Legislative Council (ALEC)...
We’re proud to announce the first title in The Progressive’s new series of Hidden History eBooks: Seneca Falls, Selma, and Stonewall. Now available from Amazon.com, Seneca Falls, Selma, and Stonewall is a timely selection of articles from The Progressive’s archives covering the great civil-rights movements since the magazine’s founding in 1909.
When President Obama, in his Second Inaugural address, declared “that all of us are created equal” and that this principle “is the star that guides us still, just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall,” he laid out a vision of our country’s progressive values and the historic journey toward a more just society that includes women’s rights, racial equality, gay rights, and immigrant rights.
The Progressive documented that struggle, throughout its early, suffragist years under the guidance of Belle Case La Follette, during the great civil rights battles of the 1950s and 1960s, and with joyful declarations of gay liberation by Allen Ginsberg and Harry Hay, founder of the modern gay rights movement, who said in a Progressive interview: “We have to be people who set each other free.”
(One note: You don’t need a Kindle or a dedicated eReader to view these books. Using free Kindle software -- available here -- you can read our eBooks on iPads, iPhones, PCs, Macintoshes, and Android devices. The Nook version will be released shortly as well.)
Seneca Falls, Selma, and Stonewall
Chapter One: Seneca Falls
Clara Bewick Colby / Victory in Sight
A great march for suffrage in London
July 22, 1911
Olympia Brown / To the Citizens of Wisconsin
Olympia Brown, a well-known suffragist and one of the first ordained women ministers in the United States, urges her fellow citizens to vote for women’s suffrage.
August 19, 1911
Dr. Anna Blount / The Benefits of Woman Suffrage
The obstetrician and advocate for women’s rights explains the need for women’s suffrage.
December 16, 1911
Jane Addams / If Things Were Reversed
The founder of Hull House imagines the tables turned, arguing why men might be denied the vote.
April 6, 1912
Carl Sandburg / My Baby Girl
The poet and journalist delights in his new daughter, and responds to those who say, “too bad it’s a girl.”
February 10, 1912
Harriet Burton Laidlaw / The Vitalized Suffragists
A prominent feminist explains why the women’s vote is inevitable.
February 8, 1913
Senator Robert L. Owen / Why I Believe in Woman Suffrage
The argument for letting women vote.
September 6, 1913
Percy Mackaye / A Hymn for Equal Suffrage
February 28, 1914
Elizabeth Glendower Evans / An Audience at The White House
President Wilson, who was not ready to commit to the women’s vote, confronts working-class women who press him on the issue.
February 14, 1914
William Jennings Bryan / Let Her Vote!
The Great Commoner declares he will ask no political rights for himself he would not grant his wife.
August 8, 1914
Belle Case La Follette / The Lady From Montana
A profile of Montana Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin, in answer to the question, “How about women holding office?”
June 1, 1917
Belle Case La Follette / May the Women of the United States Vote In 1920?
The moment of victory was at hand.
Isabel Bacon La Follette / A Room of Our Own
The daughter-in-law of Belle Case discusses housework and women’s rights.
Judith Nies McFadden / Women’s Lib on Capitol Hill
A Progressive reporter is denied access to the “gentleman’s gallery” in the Capitol.
Michelle Wasserman / Rape: Breaking the Silence
An exploration of the rape-crisis center movement.
Ruth Conniff / Awesome Women in Sports
A celebration of female athleticism after Title IX.
Elizabeth Karlin / What Shall I Wear?
An abortion doctor puts on her bulletproof vest.
An Interview with Katha Pollitt
The poet, author, and Nation columnist talks about love, sex, and dreary antifeminists.
An Interview with Gloria Steinem
The iconic feminist looks back on her career.
An Interview with Ani DiFranco
The feminist folk rocker talks about art, business, and staying independent.
An Interview with Lizz Winstead
The author, comedienne, and Daily Show creator says Planned Parenthood should be like Cinnabon, in every mall.
An Interview with Cecile Richards
The president of Planned Parenthood takes on the War on Women.
Chapter Two: Selma
Belle Case La Follette / The Color Line
The Progressive editor and suffragist takes on segregation in Washington, D.C.
August 23, 1913
Belle Case La Follette / Color Line to Date
An investigation into segregation in the civil service.
January 24, 1914
Louis D. Brandeis / Twin Evils of the Literacy Test
The “People’s Lawyer” and future Supreme Court justice explains why literacy tests and other barriers to voting are the enemies of democracy.
April 6, 1915
Robert M. La Follette / Murdering Negroes
The Progressive’s founder denounces lynching.
Anna Howard Shaw / Lynching Punishes the Community
Speaking out against commonplace murder.
Mary La Follette / Dramatic Story of Marian Anderson’s Outdoor Concert in Nation’s Capital
A lyrical firsthand account of the concert that was a civil rights watershed.
May 6, 1939
Charles Curtis Munz / Negroes Seek Right to Join Democratic Party
An exploration of the Southern Democrats’ stubborn refusal to admit blacks.
March 2, 1940
William O. Douglas / One More Chance
The civil libertarian and Supreme Court justice calls on America to realize the promise of racial justice.
December 2, 1946
A. Philip Randolph / Revolt Against Jim Crow
The president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters says, “The Government’s case is untenable and cannot indefinitely withstand any frontal attack of nonviolent good will.”
James Farmer / I Will Keep My Soul
The national director of the Congress of Racial Equality gives an account of the first Freedom Riders.
James Baldwin / A Letter to My Nephew
The novelist, essayist, and author of Go Tell It on the Mountain offers advice on survival in the face of deadly racism.
Murray Kempton / Intruder in the Dust
The great journalist and author gives a riveting account of the trial after the murder of Emmett Till.
Milton Mayer / The Issue Is Miscegenation
The Progressive columnist demands that liberals confront America’s obsession with the specter of interracial marriage.
June Jordan / The Invisible People
The poet and essayist interviews African Americans about the Presidential election that was stolen from them.
June Jordan / Requiem for the Champ
The poet and essayist remembers the neighborhood where she and Mike Tyson grew up.
An Interview with Jesse Jackson
The civil rights icon and former Presidential candidate talks about politics and hope for a progressive future.
An Interview with Barack Obama
Then-Senate candidate Obama discusses his relationship with the left, his core beliefs, and the meaning of progressive politics.
Bill Fletcher Jr. / Reflections on the 2012 Election
The writer and activist explains what Republicans and white liberals alike overlooked in the 2012 elections.
Chapter Three: Stonewall
Richard Gollance / I'm Proud to Be a Sissie
Embracing gay identity before it was cool.
Roger Wilkins / Institutional Bigotry
A civil rights leader joins hands with the gay rights movement.
Leslie Powell / The Gay Writer
Bumping up against homophobia in the literary world.
George Heymont / Parents Come Out
The beginnings of the Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.
Jim Lynch / Witch Hunt at Parris Island
An investigative report on the Marine Corps’ obsession with rooting out lesbians.
Paul Bass / Gay-Bashing at Yale
Harassment in the Ivy League.
An Interview with Randy Shilts
The journalist who brought the AIDS epidemic to light talks about confronting anger in the gay community, discrimination in the straight world, and the importance of coming out.
Minnie Bruce Pratt / One Good Mother to Another
A lesbian mother describes the pain of separation from her child.
An Interview with Larry Kramer
The activist and playwright tells how he helped create ACT UP and decided to “take that movement and turn it into an army.”
An Interview with Allen Ginsberg
The beat poet says, “I’m banned from the main marketplace of ideas in my own country.”
Justin Chin / Saved: Our Reporter Survives the Ex-Gay Ministries
A Progressive reporter undergoes antigay therapy and lives to tell the tale.
An Interview with Urvashi Vaid
The writer and activist talks about growing up in the movement and finding love.
Anne-Marie Cusac / Funeral for a Friend
Remembering a high school friend who lived in the closet and died, secretly, from AIDS.
An Interview with Harry Hay
The founder of the modern gay rights movement talks about the joy of being out.
John D’Emilio / Fifty Years of Gay and Lesbian Activism
Looking back on an era of massive cultural change.
July 17, 2001
John D’Emilio / The Legacy of Harvey Milk
How the Mayor of Castro Street changed the world.
November 20, 2003
Kate Clinton / I Do Weddings
The humorist and Progressive columnist officiates at gay marriages.
An Interview with Dan Savage
The sex columnist, writer, and activist celebrates the 2012 election results.