‘Tea with Alice and Me’ — the Lives of Two Militant Visionaries

Who was Alice Paul?

Alice Paul in 1915 (Harris & Ewing)

A one-woman multi-media show in West Hollywood this weekend will profile Paul, a leading American suffragist, feminist and women’s rights activist, for those younger people who may not have heard of her. And Zoe Nicholson, the show’s creator and herself a feminist of note, will reveal aspects of Paul’s life that few know about.

The show, “Tea with Alice and Me,” will take place from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 7, in the West Hollywood City Council Chambers at 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. south of Santa Monica. Tickets, $20 to $40, can be purchased online. West Hollywood residents (with an ID) can get free tickets by reserving one at (800) 428-7136 or by writing to Wild West Women at martha@inezmilholland.org

Nicholson will uses hundreds of images, newspapers, archival material to make this an alive event. The show reveals the “intersecting lives of two militant visionaries.”

Alice Paul, who was born in 1885, was one of the main leaders and strategists of the campaign in the early 1900s for the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted women the right to vote. She was known for organizing the Woman Suffrage Procession and the Silent Sentinels, campaigns that helped secure passage of the amendment in 1920.

After 1920, Paul led the National Woman’s Party, which fought for the Equal Rights Amendment to ensure equality for women under the Constitution and for having women included in protections under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Paul also was the founder of the Non-Violent Direct Action Movement. She died in 1977.

Zoe Nicholson

A description of the show describes Paul as “an astounding woman whose influence and life was almost entirely redacted into obscurity by jealous and disapproving moderates. This small Quaker woman carried a fire for Equality that could not be extinguished – no matter the defeats, the rise and fall of public opinion or her declining age. Alice never rested from the sustained campaign for the 19th Amendment to 54 more years writing and advocating for the Equal Rights Amendment. “

When it comes to women’s rights, Zoe Nicholson has a story of her own. Nicholson publicly fasted for 37 days in the Summer of 1982 in support of the Equal Rights Amendment. “Zoe had no idea that the author of the ERA and founder of American NVDA … was going to be the North Star for the rest of Zoe’s life,” says an announcement of the event. “With each revelation, each phone interview, a rich bibliography, hundreds of hours scouring newspapers, and fantastic contacts through online ancestry apps, the puzzle pieces came into focus.” Nicholson also tells her story in her book, “The Engaged Heart: An Activists Life.”

1 Comment
  1. Thank you so very much for the generous article. The book about my fast is The Hungry Heart. it is avail on Amazon in Kindle and the print edition, you can contact me. Thank you.

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