This essay is an amplified version of the presentation we made at the 7th Biennial Seneca Falls Dialogues. Our aim is to story back into the world our first experiences and motivations for investing in suffrage and democratic activism. We are three American professors of disciplines in the humanities, who for decades have taught and lived across the United States and have traveled the world. Yuko Kurahashi’s essay tells the story of how Raichō Hiratsuka and Fusae Ichikawa, Japanese activists in their suffrage and peace movements, helped shape her personal and professional life. Denise Harrison talks about the first wave of Black suffragists, the precursors of today’s powerful black women activists who inspire her. Dulce María discusses how Latina writers and activists modeled personal political power and activism and helped her define her hybrid identity. By presenting our stories, we want to highlight issues that most women of color address: We hope that this essay fosters deep thinking about how each of us can harness and multiply the power of our life circumstances to engage in activist work for social justice. We want to speak our truths in the hope that other people, including young women of color, begin to examine how they can use their own stories and identities to help empower the disenfranchised and impoverished, and thereby to question the past, disrupt the present, and contribute to building a more equitable future.
Gray, Dulce María; Harrison, Denise A.; and Kurahashi, Yuko (2021) “Disrupters:Three Women of Color Tell Their Stories,” The Seneca Falls Dialogues Journal: Vol. 4 , Article 4.
Available at: https://fisherpub.sjfc.edu/sfd/vol4/iss1/4