We, The Women Poem by Sojourner Kincaid Rolle

We, The Women

(On the 100th Anniversary of Women's' Right To Vote In California)

Centenary greetings to the daughters of the suffragettes.
We are all daughters of the suffragettes.
Our history goes back
farther than a hundred years;
back to when this country was conceived
in the womb of justice and dedicated to the ideal of equality;
back to the colonial hearths of mothers
who strengthened and nourished
the bodies of their sons and daughters to carry forth.
We are the daughters of the founding daughters:
Elizabeth Ross, Abigail Adams, Martha Washington,
pilgrims and pioneers, slaves, sharecroppers,
the indentured and the unbound.
We speak the same language, in the same tongue -
an unbroken chant clamoring to be free.

We speak as Elizabeth Stanton spoke.
We say what Susan Anthony said.
We declare that which Lucretia Mott declared.
We shout what Sojourner Truth shouted.
As one, we hold this sacred vow,
We shall vote.

Carrying the Yellow Silk Banner
Maud Younger, Katherine Ballentine, Charlotta Bass
and thousands strong sallied forth
across the Golden State
town to town, county to county, house to house
proclaiming "Votes for Women"
We shall be free.

We the women, we the wives, the mothers,
the sisters, the workers, the thinkers, the builders -
We the daughters of the suffragettes -
We the body politic -
We the women Equal and Free!

(Santa Barbara - 2011)

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