Ohio University

Athena Cinema brings 100 years of women’s suffrage to the screen

Athena Cinema brings 100 years of women’s suffrage to the screen
Carey Snyder, associate professor, Department of English. Photo by Ben Siegel.

Passed by both chambers in Congress on June 4, 1919, aligning with 15 states who already allowed full voting rights to women, the U.S. Congress ratified the 19th Amendment on August 18, 1920. And with that, the right for women to vote throughout the country in local, state and federal elections was secured. 

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the amendment’s passing, and to reflect on issues of citizenship more broadly, the Athena Cinema announces the Women Pioneers Series, four profound films that will be screened this spring. Admission to the series is free and all screenings feature intros and/or post-screening Q&A sessions led by subject experts.

The Athena Cinema’s Women Pioneers Series kicks off on January 21 at 7:00 pm with Selma, the 2014 film that chronicles three months in 1965 when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a non-violent campaign to secure equal voting rights for Black Americans in the face of violent opposition. The historic five-day-long march from Selma, Alabama, to the state’s capital building in Montgomery, 54 miles away, culminated in President Lynden B. Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, an epic victory for the civil rights movement.

Next, series screens the 2017 documentary Mankiller on Feb. 25 and features a talk with the film’s Director, Valerie Red-Horse Mohl after the screening. On March 24 the series screens the 2015 British historical period drama  Suffragette , with OHIO English Department’s Associate Professor Carey Snyder leading a discussion after the screening.

“With this series, Athens joins cities across the nation in celebrating the largest extension of voting rights in our nation's history,” Snyder says.  “The films chosen provide an opportunity to reflect on the contributions of many extraordinary women to achieving this milestone, while recognizing the divisions of race and class within the movement, as well as barriers to voting rights and citizenship that persisted after the passing of the amendment.”

The series finishes on April 14 with a screening of the 2004 American historical drama film Iron Jawed Angles. The League of Women Voters of Athens County will be tabling with voter registration at each screening.

The Athena Cinema is planning a second installment of this series for fall 2020.  Follow them on social media for updates.

Support for the series comes from the following Ohio University units: University Libraries, School of Film, Multicultural Center, Black Student Cultural Programming Board, Cutler Scholars, Margaret Boyd Scholars, OHIO Honors, English Department, History Department, Women’s Center, the Athena Cinema and Arts for Ohio.


The Athena Cinema’s Women Pioneers Series

January 21 at 7:00 pm with Selma

February 25 at 7:00 pm with Mankiller 
with Director Valerie Red-Horse Mohl

March 24 at 7:00 pm with Suffragette 
with OHIO English Department’s Associate Professor Carey Snyder

April 14 at 7:00 pm with Iron Jawed Angles