A Suffragette In America: E. Sylvia Pankhurst
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Writer, historian and expert on Sylvia Pankhurst, Katherine Connelly uncovers the story of one of Britain’s most famous radicals visiting the ‘Land of the Free’ through Sylvia’s own memoirs and writings from her visits to North America in 1911-12.
Unlike the standard suffragette tours which focused on courting progressive members of America’s social elite for money, Pankhurst got her hands dirty, meeting striking laundry workers in New York,
visiting female prisoners in Philadelphia and Chicago and grappling with horrific racism in Nashville, Tennessee.
Pankhurst was shocked by the dark side of American society. Bringing her own experiences of imprisonment and misogyny from her political work in Britain, she found many parallels between the two countries. These never-before published writings mark an important stage in the development of the suffragette’s thought, which she brought back to Britain to inform the burgeoning working-class suffrage campaign there.