Barbara Berenson, a recently retired Senior Attorney at the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, has published Woman Suffrage Movement: Revolutionary Reformers,” about the fundamental role Massachusetts activists played in the movement over the course of three generations.
“It’s important to have a knowledge of history,” Berenson said. “What that has shown us is that a step forward, unfortunately, is often followed by a backlash. That’s why you have to be brave, persistent and persevere. Over time, the forces of justice and equality will win out even if the road is long and bumpy.”
On June 25, Massachusetts celebrates the 100th anniversary if its ratification of the 19th amendment, which gave United States women the right to vote. That was just four years before my grandmother was born and 90 years before I published my historical novel about the First Woman’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, N.Y.
The title for A Shocking & Unnatural Incident was taken directly from an 1848 newspaper editorial declaring that a group of women gathering in a church to proclaim what they wanted, needed and deserved in life was “a shocking and unnatural incident.”