Exhibit pays tribute to Florida women’s activism
By Chambria Gordon
An interactive exhibit that showed the impact of Florida women during the early days of the Women’s Liberation Movement wasn’t just educational for Jennifer Poncer.
The 6-year-old found it amazing and inspiring. It left her with aspirations that most little girls her age don’t have.
“Someday I want to be president, mommy,” she said to her mother, Rita.
Jennifer was at the Florida Museum with her family this past Saturday for the exhibit, which the museum puts on every second Saturday each month. This month’s exhibit highlights 20th century Florida as part of its Women’s Month celebration.
The exhibit focused on Florida’s impact during the Women’s Liberation Movement.
“Everything began with the civil rights movement. It set the focus for everything,” said Tatjana Lightbourn, who led the tours of the exhibit. “Women wanted the equal right to vote. They wanted the same rights as men.”
Through the activism of the Women’s Liberation Movement, the 19th Amendment was added to the Constitution, giving women the right to vote in 1920. Three years later, civil rights activist Alice Paul proposed the Equal Rights Amendment. It took 49 years before Congress passed the proposal, giving equal rights to all genders.
“These women opened up many doors for women like you and I,” said Donna Nash, while touring the exhibit. “They wanted to prove that women are not livestock and that we actually can contribute to society.”
The exhibit featured a series of videos and pictures of women in history who focused on political campaigns. Feminists such as, Beverly Jones and Judith Brown contributed personal items from their era.
“I brought my daughter here today because she needs to understand the history of how far women have come,” said Rita Poncer.
Her daughter’s aspiration made her proud, Poncer said.
“These fearless women made it possible for a woman like Hillary Clinton to run for president,” Poncer said. “Knowing that my daughter admires these women makes me appreciate them even more. They have done so much to change history.”