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A Voice of Her Own: South Carolina Women in Politics


This exhibit is free with museum general admission or membership.

Adult (13-61): $8.95
Seniors (62 +): $7.95
Children (3-12): $6.95
Infants 2 and under: FREE

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A Voice of Her Own: South Carolina Women in Politics

Now Open

This year the museum is celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women the right to vote. This exhibit features objects, images and stories showing the ways South Carolina women engaged with the political history of our state. From tribal women leaders, to the first female Governor of the state, this exhibit shows how women worked to gain a voice of their own.

Since women have long been outside politics, the objects in this exhibit show how the personal is the political. A prehistoric scraper tells the story of how native women have a long tradition of being equal with men and powerful in tribal politics. Sherds of porcelain from a colonial plantation are an example of property, which women could spend their lives building, but not control or own. While a tag that a Charleston enslaved woman was forced to wear underlines that some women were property, whose work built the base of South Carolina political power.

The Civil War and Reconstruction caused great political upheaval, but South Carolina women who wanted political power found themselves disappointed. The early 20th century found an imperfect coalition of suffragettes working for a national amendment to give women the right to vote. You can see a “Votes for Women” banner that belonged to USC student, Shirley Black, while posing in our suffragette selfie station. A wide variety of political material from the 20th century shows how women have always had diverse political opinions and concerns not captured within any one political party.