Brief Description: Fictionalized picture book story of the day that Agnes Sadler became the first African American woman to vote for the first time in Knoxville.
Date Range: 1919
Original Publication: 2020
Suitable for Grades: K-3rd
Target Audience: Picture Book
This picture book depicts a young African American girl and her mother getting ready for the “big day,” the first time women of any color were allowed to vote in Knoxville, Tennessee. Tansy at first wonders what the fuss is about and cannot get an answer from her busy mother, who rushes about making breakfast and fixing the girl’s hair. The illustrations by Robert Casilla aptly show the excitement as the two get dressed in their Sunday best, pay careful attention to their appearances, and finally get on the bus, where Big Mama explains suffrage and the importance of casting a vote. After standing in line with other women, black and white alike, Tansy has the privilege to drop the election card through the slot on the ballot box. The book’s endpapers are a clever collage of newspaper clippings about the suffrage movement. Author’s notes, a short biography of Agnes Sadler, on whom this story is based, and a brief history of Woman’s Suffrage worldwide round out the educational content. (I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher, Star Bright Books.)