Since well before ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920 secured their right to vote, women in Oklahoma have sought to change and uplift their communities through political activism. This Land Is Herland brings together the stories of thirteen women activists and explores their varied experiences from the territorial period to the present.
Organized chronologically, the essays discuss Progressive reformer Kate Barnard, educator and civil rights leader Clara Luper, and Comanche leader and activist LaDonna Harris, as well as lesser-known individuals such as Cherokee historian and educator Rachel Caroline Eaton, entrepreneur and NAACP organizer California M. Taylor, and Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) champion Wanda Jo Peltier Stapleton.
Edited by Sarah Eppler Janda and Patricia Loughlin, the collection connects Oklahoma women’s individual and collective endeavors to the larger themes of intersectionality, suffrage, politics, motherhood, and civil rights in the American West and the United States. The historians explore how race, ethnicity, social class, gender, and political power shaped—and were shaped by—these women’s efforts to improve their local, state, and national communities.
Underscoring the diversity of women’s experiences, the editors and contributors provide fresh and engaging perspectives on the western roots of gendered activism in Oklahoma. This volume expands and enhances our understanding of the complexities of western women’s history.