In 1912, the suffragists pulled a bakery (or milk) delivery wagon painted with slogans from which they would distribute The Women’s Journal. What of African American women, Indigenous women, and other women of color within the US and US territories like Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam for whom absolute suffrage and citizenship would come much later? And what did it mean for women in states where the 19th Amendment was not ratified for another 20 or 60 years? In this performance, filmed on location in the Catskills, Penny Wasn’t Pullin’ No Wagon pays tribute to the women who were not immediately affected by the 1920 decision due to systemic racism; to women who, like the artist’s mother, struggled in dire poverty and adversity and were unable to participate in later movements. The artist honors and acknowledges, through the use of slogans, dates, poetry, and farming tools, a truer collective of women that desired liberation and visibility.
LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs is a Laundromat Project Create Change alum and commissioned artist for the Park Avenue Armory’s 100 Years | 100 Women project. Learn more about 100 Years | 100 Women and explore the archive here.