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#BallotBattle: Richmond’s Social Struggle for Suffrage

To highlight the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, #BallotBattle: Richmond’s Social Struggle for Suffrage uses modern social media platforms to profile five Richmond viewpoints and the racial and generational tensions that each exposed. Between 1909 and 1920, both pro-suffrage and anti-suffrage advocates battled tenaciously, using all the platforms available to persuade both the legislature and the general public. While they could not use Twitter or Facebook, they did rely on newspapers, broadsides, pamphlets, postcards, banners, and personal accessories to proclaim their viewpoints.  Just like our complicated social media battles today, the final political and legal outcome was never a foregone conclusion.

Voices from Richmond’s Hidden Epidemic

Despite years of medical and social progress, misconceptions about HIV/AIDS persist today. The disease is viewed by many as a scourge of the past that is now easily treatable and primarily impacting gay white men. However, the numbers reveal a more complicated story—one in which gay African-American men have a 1 in 2 chance of acquiring HIV/AIDS.

Richmond’s rate of HIV infection, currently ranked 19th nationally, is exacerbated by high concentrations of poverty, lack of sex education in public schools and the continuing opioid epidemic. Featuring oral histories collected by Laura Browder and Patricia Herrera with accompanying photographic portraits by Michael Simon, Voices from Richmond’s Hidden Epidemic offers a nuanced look at the HIV/AIDS crisis through the stories of survivors, caregivers, activists and health care workers on the front lines.

 

This program is funded in part by a grant from Virginia Humanities