Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument

Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument Welcome to the official page for the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument. For visitor information, visit http://www.nps.gov/bepa.
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Home to the National Woman's Party for over 90 years, this was the epicenter of the struggle for women's suffrage and women's rights. From this house in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol and Supreme Court, Alice Paul and the NWP developed innovative strategies and tactics to secure passage of the 19th Amendment and more. President Barack Obama designated the national monument on April 12, 2016.

Operating as usual

March is #WomensHistoryMonth! Did you know that the National Park Service website is full of Women's History content? St...
03/02/2021
19th Amendment - Women's History (U.S. National Park Service)

March is #WomensHistoryMonth! Did you know that the National Park Service website is full of Women's History content? Start on the #19thAmendment page for story maps, podcasts, teacher resources, kids' activities, and other great articles. Then keep clicking! Whatever you're wondering about, there's a good chance that the NPS is caring for sites and sharing stories connected to it. If you can't find what you're looking for, let us know. We can either point you in the right direction or work on adding resources in the future. #FindYourPark #EncuentraTuParque

https://www.nps.gov/subjects/womenshistory/19th-amendment.htm

Women in America first collectively organized in 1848 at the First Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, NY to fight for suffrage (or voting rights). Organized by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, the convention sparked the women’s suffrage movement. Not everyone followed the same p...

Visitors to the museum at the Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument encounter many portraits by suffragist and...
03/01/2021

Visitors to the museum at the Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument encounter many portraits by suffragist and National Woman's Party protestor Betsy Graves Reyneau. Her activism included arrests for picketing the White House. After women won the vote in 1920 with the #19thAmendment, Reyneau supported herself and her young daughter as a portrait painter. She studied in Paris for a time, returning to the U.S. in 1939 to escape rising fascism in Europe.

Reyneau became increasingly disturbed by the anti-Black racism rampant in a nation that claimed to oppose fascism abroad. She began to use her art to combat racism by countering stereotypes of African Americans. Her portrait of scientist and humanitarian George Washington Carver, painted three months before he died, was the first in what would become a powerful collection of portraits of notable Black leaders, including Mary McLeod Bethune and Marian Anderson. An exhibit titled "Portraits of Outstanding Americans of Negro Origin" including works by Reyneau and Laura Wheeler Waring, went on display at the Smithsonian on May 2, 1944 and then toured the country for the next ten years. Reyneau called her work "a visual education project" meant to highlight the extraordinary contributions of African Americans to the nation. #BeyondThe19th #BlackHistoryMonth #WomensHistoryMonth #MuseumMonday

Betsy Graves Reyneau's portraits from the exhibition are part of the collection at the National Portrait Gallery. The National Park Service preserves sites and tells the story of many of her subjects, including George Washington Carver National Monument, Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site and National Mall and Memorial Parks.

03/01/2021
Ford's Theatre National Historic Site

Ford's Theatre National Historic Site

As February draws to a close, Ranger Efa honors the creator of Black History month, historian and publisher Dr. Carter G. Woodson. Ever since Lincoln's assassination in 1865, Black communities around the nation have celebrated the fallen president's birthday every year on February 12. African Americans added a celebration for Frederick Douglass' birthday on February 14, after his death in 1895. Dr. Woodson built on both celebrations to popularize February as a time to honor and commemorate the Black past. Woodson's home, which also served as the headquarters of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, still stands on 9th Street in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington DC and is preserved as the Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site.

For an audio-described version of this video, please visit https://cms.nps.gov/media/video/view.htm?id=2EDA7C80-7C2D-4160-8932-D64ECCE1CFA3

#BlackHistoryMonth
#BlackHistory365

Daisy Bates was a newspaper publisher and civil rights activist who was the driving force behind the desegregation of sc...
02/26/2021

Daisy Bates was a newspaper publisher and civil rights activist who was the driving force behind the desegregation of schools in Little Rock, Arkansas. Bates organized the effort to admit Black students into segregated Central High School in 1957. Her home served as a support center for the students, known as the Little Rock Nine. She later published her account of the experience, including the harassment and intimidation that the students had to endure day after day, in her book "The Long Shadow of Little Rock." Her newspaper closed in 1959, but Bates continued to work in community activism and anti-poverty efforts in Washington, D.C. and Arkansas. #BlackHistoryMonth

Learn more from Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site and from the essay series "Black Women in the Struggle for Equality" https://www.nps.gov/subjects/womenshistory/black-women-and-the-struggle-for-equality.htm. https://www.nps.gov/people/dbates.htm

Photo: Daisy Bates, courtesy of University of Arkansas Special Collections

Septima Poinsette Clark was a teacher and civil rights activist sometimes called the "Mother of the Movement" for her co...
02/24/2021

Septima Poinsette Clark was a teacher and civil rights activist sometimes called the "Mother of the Movement" for her courageous advocacy in Charleston, South Carolina. After losing her job as a teacher in Charleston Public Schools because of her membership in the NAACP, she taught social justice workshops at the Highlander Folk School. Rosa Parks attended one of her workshops a few months before her arrest, which led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Septima Clark organized Citizenship Schools on Johns Island, SC, which enabled African Americans to pass literacy tests in order to register to vote. Her idea for “citizen education” became a cornerstone of the Civil Right Movement. She worked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to establish the Citizenship Education Program, expanding her model of political empowerment through education across the country. #BeyondThe19th #BlackHistoryMonth

Learn more about Septima Poinsette Clark, one of our 20 Suffragists to Know: https://www.nps.gov/people/septimapoinsetteclark.htm

Photo: Septima Clark, Bob Fitch Photo Archive, Stanford University Libraries

"We Hold a Banner for a Sword Till All Oppression Cease"The most recognizable items in the National Woman's Party collec...
02/22/2021

"We Hold a Banner for a Sword Till All Oppression Cease"

The most recognizable items in the National Woman's Party collection are connected to the fight for the right to vote, but the NWP continued to advocate for women's equality for decades after the passage of the #19thAmendment. The NWP historic collection of textiles, banners, furniture, paintings, sculpture and other artifacts, transferred to the National Park Service in 2020, includes items from years of struggle, including banners, posters, and sashes from the 2017 Women's March. #BeyondThe19th #BlackHistoryMonth #BlackLIvesMatter #MuseumMonday

“There is no doubt that this gesture on the part of determined women called attention to the injustice perpetrated upon ...
02/19/2021

“There is no doubt that this gesture on the part of determined women called attention to the injustice perpetrated upon them by denying them the suffrage and hastened the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment." Mary Church Terrell

During the 1921 National Woman's Party Convention #100YearsAgo, this week, women who participated in the massive demonstration to picket the White House were honored for their service to the cause of woman suffrage. Among those awarded a banner pin in recognition of their dedication were Mary Church Terrell and her daughter Phyllis. In her autobiography “A Colored Woman in a White World”, Mary describes the hardships of picketing. "On a bitter cold day, the phone would ring and a voice from [NWP] Headquarters…would inquire, ‘Will you come to picket the White House this afternoon?’ As a rule, I complied with the request and several times Phyllis would come with me to swell the number. Sometimes it was necessary to stand on hot bricks supplied by a colored man employed expressly for that purpose to keep our feet from freezing.”

As she held her banner on those cold days in the winter of 1917, Mary Church Terrell had decades of experience standing up for the right to vote. Although she and Phyllis never faced arrest for their participation in the White House demonstrations, they were taking a great risk by joining the confrontational protest. Mary frequently pressured white suffragists to recognize the additional injustices faced by Black women, including harsh treatment by the police.

Mary Church Terrell continued to stand with white feminists even as they failed to support racial justice. She addressed those gathered at the 1921 convention, imploring the NWP to pass a resolution calling for Congressional investigation of voter suppression and violence against Black women in the south, to "endorse the enforcement of the 19th Amendment for all women.” The resolution failed. #BlackHistoryMonth #BeyondThe19th

Learn more about "Mary Church Terrell: Black Suffragist and Civil Rights Activist" in this article by Allison M. Parker, author of "Unceasing Militant: The Life of Mary Church Terrell": https://www.nps.gov/articles/000/mary-church-terrell-black-suffragist-and-civil-rights-activist.htm

It was an "Awesome Dawesome" day in 2017 when history-maker and three-time Olympian Dominique Dawes visited the Belmont-...
02/18/2021

It was an "Awesome Dawesome" day in 2017 when history-maker and three-time Olympian Dominique Dawes visited the Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument and the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in Washington, D.C. “I always thought to enjoy parks you had to be an outdoorsy person, and I am absolutely not an outdoorsy person," Dawes said. But she has found many parks are suited for indoor-types, including some historic sites dedicated to the fight for equality. #ThrowbackThursday #FindYourPark #EncuentraTuParque

Dominique Dawes was the first African American woman to win an individual Olympic medal in gymnastics and the first Black gymnast to win a gold medal. The Olympic champion entered the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2005 and has been an inspiration to many as a world class athlete and fitness activist. #BlackHistoryMonth

To learn more about Dominique Dawes's visit to these amazing places, read the National Park Foundation blog post: https://www.nationalparks.org/connect/blog/olympian-idol-draws-inspiration-historic-heroes

On Monday, Ranger Lorne told the story of the dedication of the Portrait Monument in the U.S. Capitol 100 years ago. Hal...
02/17/2021

On Monday, Ranger Lorne told the story of the dedication of the Portrait Monument in the U.S. Capitol 100 years ago. Hallie Quinn Brown, president of the National Association of Colored Women, made sure that she was present during the unveiling ceremony, claiming common cause with the National Woman's Party by honoring Lucretia Mott, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton as "our three pioneers of suffrage." Two years later, Brown raised her voice about another monument, this time to ensure that it was never built.

In 1923, at the urging of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the Senate passed a bill authorizing the construction of a “Monument to Faithful Colored Mammies of the South” in Washington, D.C. Hallie Quinn Brown and other Black leaders quickly mobilized against the proposal. Brown spoke to dispel the myth of the happy enslaved woman portrayed in the statue, arguing that "slave women were brutalized, the victims of white men's caprice and lust. Often the babe torn from her arms was the child of her oppressor." Mary Church Terrell expressed similar sentiments. "The condition of the slave woman was so pitiably, hopelessly helpless that it is difficult to see how any woman, whether white or black, could take any pleasure in a marble stature to perpetuate her memory," Terrell wrote in a newspaper editorial. The outcry from Black leaders worked. The bill died in the House. #BeyondThe19th #BlackHistoryMonth

Learn more about educator, activist, and powerful speaker Hallie Quinn Brown, one of the Black Women in the Struggle for Equality: https://www.nps.gov/people/hallie-quinn-brown-ca-1850-1949.htm

02/15/2021
Leaders in Equality: The Portrait Monument

Ranger Lorne tells the story of the Portrait Monument, installed on February 12, 1921, #100YearsAgo, Hallie Quinn Brown, president of the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs(National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, Inc.) attended the unveiling in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda hosted by the National Woman's Party. At this ceremony, thousands of women gathered to honor three founders of the suffrage movement.

This day of jubilant celebration was followed by years of hard work. Highlighting the fact that equality had not yet been achieved, the monument would not remain in the rotunda of the Capitol. The next day, it was moved downstairs into the Capitol Crypt. Although the move was supposed to be temporary while a permanent home was designated, it would take 76 years and an act of Congress before the statue would return to the Rotunda. #BlackHistoryMonth #BeyondThe19th

What does the Portrait Monument mean to you?

For an audio described version and other links: https://www.nps.gov/articles/000/portrait-monument-video.htm

"Woman knows and feels her wrongs as man cannot know and feel them, and she also knows as well as he can know, what meas...
02/14/2021

"Woman knows and feels her wrongs as man cannot know and feel them, and she also knows as well as he can know, what measures are needed to redress them. She is her own best representative."
-Frederick Douglass, in a speech before the International Council of Women, Washington, D.C., April 1888.

From the moment he stood up during the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 to support the call for woman suffrage, until the last day of his life spent at a meeting of the National Council of Women, Frederick Douglass was a women's rights man. Douglass used his position as a respected statesman to support the rights of women. A supportive and true ally, he declared women the experts of their own equality.

Born enslaved in Maryland, he was never sure the day nor even the year of his birth. He remembered his mother calling him her "Little Valentine," so he marked his birthday #OnThisDay February 14, 1818. Visit the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site page for virtual birthday celebration events.

Learn more: https://www.nps.gov/frdo/index.htm

“The cause of freedom is not the cause of a race or a sect, a party or a class—it is the cause of humankind, the very bi...
02/12/2021

“The cause of freedom is not the cause of a race or a sect, a party or a class—it is the cause of humankind, the very birthright of humanity.”

Dr. Anna Julia Cooper was one of the first Black women in the United States to earn a Ph.D. As the head of Washington Colored High School (later called the M Street School and now Paul Laurence Dunbar High School,) she was a champion of academically rigorous education for Black students. Her book "Voice from the South: By a Black Woman of the South" published in 1892, is considered one of the first works of Black feminist theory. She advocated for Black women's rights to education and self-determination. Dr. Cooper addressed what we now call intersectionality: the effect of the complex interaction of race, sex, and class on individuals. #BlackHistoryMonth

Learn more about Dr. Anna Julia Cooper, one of the trailblazers featured in the NPS series "Black Women and the Struggle for Equality": https://www.nps.gov/people/dr-anna-julia-cooper-1859-1964.htm

Image: Educator and civil rights activist Anna Julia Cooper (1858-1964), seated, with book on her lap. The Library of Congress

"I am sensible of exposing myself to calumny and reproach; but shall I, for fear of scoffs and frowns, refrain my tongue...
02/10/2021

"I am sensible of exposing myself to calumny and reproach; but shall I, for fear of scoffs and frowns, refrain my tongue? Ah, no!"

Maria Stewart was one of the first women to speak in public in the United States, including in front of "promiscuous" audiences of men and women together. She was the first Black woman in America to publish a political treatise. Her philosophy and powerful speaking style influenced other abolitionists, including Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth. #BlackHistoryMonth

There are no known photographs of Maria Stewart, so we include the title page of her work, "Meditations" instead. Learn more about Maria Stewart: https://www.nps.gov/people/maria-w-stewart.htm

It's #NationalBoyScoutsDay, In 1913, Boy Scouts had the opportunity to courageously honor the Boy Scout slogan, "Do a Go...
02/08/2021

It's #NationalBoyScoutsDay, In 1913, Boy Scouts had the opportunity to courageously honor the Boy Scout slogan, "Do a Good Turn Daily."

Scouts provided crowd control and first aid at President Woodrow Wilson’s 1913 inauguration. Duties included assisting the Red Cross, selling programs, and even monitoring the rear of the White House reviewing stand to prevent onlookers from starting a fire with carelessly thrown cigarette butts.

While the Scouts received praise for these efforts, their greatest contributions came the day before during the Woman Suffrage Procession, which was the largest demonstration D.C. had ever seen. Over 5,000 women from across the country marched down Pennsylvania Avenue to demand a federal amendment enfranchising women.

The event started with great pageantry, with banners waving. Women representing states, universities, and professions processed with banners held high. But after a few blocks, the procession slowed and then stopped as the crowd surged into the street. Angry men began harassing the suffragists. Many spectators yelled insults, tried to climb onto floats, and assaulted the women.

The police did little to control the crowds. So the Boy Scouts stepped up. They were already positioned along the route, responding to rumors that college students planned release thousands of rodents during the event. While the mouse threats didn’t materialize, the Scouts found themselves facing a much more dangerous situation. Using their staves, the boys valiantly tried to hold back the crowd and maintain a path for the suffragists. #doagoodturn #ScoutingNPS #scoutingspirit

Learn more in the article "Boy Scouts at the 1913 Suffrage Parade" https://www.nps.gov/articles/000/boy-scouts-at-the-1913-suffrage-parade.htm

Scouts working on the Citizenship in the Nation badge can discover more about amendments to the U.S. Constitution (requirement 4) by learning the story of the fight for the #19thAmendment.

Address

144 Constitution Ave NE
Washington D.C., DC
20002

The site is located a short walk from Metro. From the Orange/Blue/Silver lines, use the Capitol South station; from the Red line, use Union Station.

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Welcome to the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument (BEPA) Facebook community. We hope to bring you current and historic information about your national park, and that our fans feel comfortable sharing information and experiences about BEPA with one another. While this is an open forum, it is also family-friendly. Please keep your comments and wall posts appropriate for all ages. Be considerate of other fans' opinions. In addition to keeping it family friendly, we ask that you follow our posting guidelines below. If you do not comply, your message will be removed and we may find it necessary to disable your page access. We do not allow graphic, obscene, explicit or racial comments or submissions, nor do we allow comments that are abusive, hateful or intended to defame anyone or any organization. We do not allow solicitations or advertisements. This includes promotion or endorsement of any financial, commercial, political or non-governmental agency. Such posts and/or links are subject to deletion. People who continue to post such content and/or links may be subject to page participation restrictions and/or removal from the page. We do not allow comments that suggest or encourage illegal activity. You are responsible for your comments, your username and any information provided.

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