Descendants of Women's Suffrage and Civil Rights Pioneers Celebrate Women's Right to Vote Centennial With Historic Rose Parade Ride

Progeny of Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells, Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton will accompany a special float on New Year’s Day

Published : Monday, December 30, 2019 | 6:11 AM

Pictured above, clockwise, from upper left: An artist's rendering of the float; Kenneth B. Morris Jr; Ernestine Tina Martin Wyatt; Coline Jenkins; Michelle Duster; Marci Magnatta

A Rose Parade float that celebrates the 100-year anniversary of the 19th Amendment’s giving women the right to vote will march down Colorado Boulevard carrying descendants of famous American suffragettes and civil rights leaders.

The focal point of the float is a 30-foot Statue of Liberty, symbolic of the important role all women play in our society.

The float will be followed by 100 out walkers including representatives of organizations supporting the 72-year fight.

The out walkers will be clad in 19th-century fashion as they make their way along the five-mile trek down Colorado Blvd.

The float’s theme is “Years of Hope, Years of Courage.” It is the ultimate result grown out of a small group of women who formed a planning committee to bring together many individuals and groups in Pasadena, and its environs, to support for the Float. The initiative, called Pasadena Celebrates 2020, is under the umbrella of the nonprofit National Women’s History Alliance.

The centennial float will pay tribute to early pioneers of women’s suffrage and civil rights by featuring a “Bouquet of Descendants” including Coline Jenkins (Elizabeth Cady Stanton), Ernestine Wyatt (Harriet Tubman), Michelle Duster (Ida B. Wells), Kenneth B. Morris Jr (Frederick Douglass) and Marci Magnatta (Susan B. Anthony).

With the 2020 election around the corner, the float is a symbolic reminder of the responsibility to vote and, says organizers, “to continue the fight for equality and inclusion.”

On June 4, 1919, the 19th Amendment gave women the equal right to vote, however some groups of voters were still not recognized. In 1924 Native Americans were given the right to vote, in 1943 Chinese Americans, in 1965 the Voting Rights Act protected racial minorities, and in 1971, the 23rd Amendment gave the vote to those 18 years of age and over.

Below is a lineup of the “Bouquet of Descendants” who will take the honored ride in this year’s parade:

Coline Jenkins (Descendant of Elizabeth Cady Stanton)

Coline Jenkins is a legislator, author, television producer and the great-great-granddaughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Stanton forever changed the social and political landscape of the U.S. by succeeding in her work to guarantee rights for women and slaves. She spearheaded the launch of the Women’s Suffrage Movement in July 1848, after presenting the Declaration of Sentiments at Wesleyan Methodist Chapel.

The historic document demanded rights such as property ownership, public speaking, child custody and elective franchise. She founded the National Women’s Suffrage Association.

Ernestine Wyatt (Descendant of Harriet Tubman)

Ernestine Martin Wyatt is an artist and activist who is the great-great-great-grandniece of the legendary Harriet Tubman. Her artwork is featured as a permanent collection in the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture. Her ancestor Harriet Tubman was an abolitionist and political activist who was enslaved, escaped slavery and became the most recognized “conductor” on the Underground Railroad helping over 70 others gain their freedom.

Tubman served in the Union Army as a scout during her later years, and was a prominent activist during the Women’s Suffrage Movement.

Michelle Duster (Descendant of Ida B. Wells)

Michelle Duster is an award-winning author, speaker, historian and writing professor at Columbia College. She is the great-granddaughter of prominent journalist, abolitionist and feminist Ida B. Wells.

Wells was freed by the Emancipation Proclamation and went on to lead an anti-lynching crusade in the United States in the 1890’s. She also co-founded the National Association of Colored Women (NACW) in 1896, and was on the front lines of the Women’s Suffrage Movement.

Marci Magnatta (Descendant of Susan B. Anthony)

Marci Magnatta is the seventh cousin of Women’s Suffrage leader and abolitionist Susan B. Anthony, and serves as lead of the Visitor Museum Experience at Catalina Island Museum.

She inherited the pride of her heroic ancestor as she walked alongside her great-great grandmother Ester Deitrich, the Grand Marshall of the Susan B. Anthony Parade in Rochester, NY.

Susan B. Anthony was a women’s rights activist and committed abolitionist who co-founded the National Women’s Suffrage Association with Elizabeth Cady Stanton after women were excluded from the 14th and 15th voting amendments. She was a foremost champion for temperance, equal pay and the end to slavery.

Kenneth B. Morris Jr. (Descendant of Frederick Douglass)

Kenneth B. Morris Jr., is the great-great-great-grandson of Frederick Douglass. He is an Ambassador for Human Rights First, sits on the Board of Directors at The Young Americans performing rights organization, and previously served as a Partner at C&A marketing.

Morris now carries the abolitionist torch of his ancestor’s legacy with his work in the fight against modern-day slavery and co-founding the Atlanta-based non-profit Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives (FDFI).

Frederick Douglass was a famed abolitionist who used his rights as a free black man and the platform of his newspaper, the North Star, to enlist petitioners to sign the declaration supporting women’s rights.

Additional riders advancing women’s rights, civil rights and human rights are to include:

• League of Women Voters National President, Chris Carson.

• League of Women Voters CEO, Virginia Case.

• Women’s Intercultural Global Network Chair, Elahe Amani.

• Founder and President of the Dolores Huertas Foundations (Labor Activist), Dolores Huerta

• Nasa Jet Propulsion Laboratory Scientist (Mars Helicopter Project Manager), MiMi Aung

• Chairman of American Association of University Women’s Board of Directors, Julia Brown.

• Chair and 7th President, National Council of Negro Women, Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Ph. D.

• President and CEO of Huntington Hospital, Dr. Lori Morgan (MD, MBA).

• Philanthropist, Leslie Masson.

• President and CEO of Ms. Foundation for Women, Teresa Younger.

• President and CEO of the Girl Scouts of USA, Sylvia Acevedo.

• Gold Award Girl Scout, Genetha Cleveland

• Executive Director, ‘Not Our Native Daughters’, Lynnette Greybull.

For more information about the “Years of Hope, Years of Courage” float visit www.pasadenacelebrates2020.org. Viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media by using the hashtag #CelebrateHER100.

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