March is Women’s History Month!
To kick off the celebration, we present Kate Hannigan, author of A Lady Has The Floor: Belva Lockwood Speaks Out for Women’s Rights March 6 at 1pm CST. Join us LIVE on our Facebook Page or at AuthorsVoice.net. Betsy Bird hosts LadyBird and Friends on the Author’s Voice network.
Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood was an American attorney, politician, educator, and author. She was active in working for women’s rights. From education to suffrage to the U.S. Supreme Court, Lockwood championed many important causes. As one of the first female attorneys in America, she helped widows, Civil War Veterans, Native Americans and freed slaves exercise their civil rights.
In 1879, she successfully petitioned Congress to be allowed to practice before the United States Supreme Court. In 1880, she was the first woman attorney given this privilege. During one of her first appearances before the U. S. Supreme Court, she petitioned the court to admit Samuel R. Lowery. Admitted shortly after, Lowery would be the first Southern African American lawyer to argue there.
Lockwood ran for president in 1884 and 1888 on the ticket of the National Equal Rights Party and was the first woman to appear on official ballots. She couldn’t vote, but she could run!
When the votes were counted, results revealed the Lockwood had garnered over 4,000 votes. Not enough votes to beat candidate Grover Cleveland, but more than enough to start people thinking about women and their roles in the government and society.
After her presidential runs, she turned her efforts to world peace. She was so influential in this sphere, that she was she asked to serve on the Nobel Peace Prize committee.
Lockwood did not live to see women’s suffrage. She died in 1917. Three years later the Nineteenth Amendment would be added to the U.S. Constitution.
A Lady Has The Floor, by Kate Hannigan provides a glimpse into Lockwood’s life. For young readers, (Ages 7-10, grades 2-5), this riveting nonfiction picture book biography, by award-winning author Kate Hannigan and celebrated artist Alison Jay illuminate the life of Lockwood, a woman who was never afraid to take the floor and speak her mind.