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'Amended: Of Rights and Wrongs'

Simonair Yoho
Kafi Kafi Co.

Each week during the month of March, WRVO Public Media will air an episode each of "Amended" from Humanities New York in honor of Women's History Month. The series travels from the 1800s to the present day to show us a quest for women's full equality that has always been as diverse, complex and unfinished as the nation itself.

Episode 3: Of Rights and Wrongs

After the Civil War, many abolitionists and women’s rights activists saw an opportunity to team up and advance equality for all. 

African American author and orator Frances Ellen Watkins Harper was hopeful, too. But she also knew that politics and prejudice could shatter this tentative alliance, with devastating consequences. She wasn’t about to let that happen without a fight.

To help tell Frances’s story, host Laura Free meets up with Sharia Benn, a writer, researcher and theater artist who has spent a decade portraying Frances for public audiences. Laura also spends time with historian Bettye Collier-Thomas in Bettye’s extensive personal archive. Bettye’s research has helped recover Harper’s forgotten contributions to the abolitionist, suffrage, and temperance causes. In this exceptionally emotional episode, Sharia and Bettye paint a vivid portrait of a woman whose vision of liberation resonates deeply today -- and whose spirit is still with those who continue the pursuit of justice and equality.

Listen Sunday, March 21 at 7 p.m. on WRVO, on-air and online.