Sue Shelton White Sculpture Dedication

May 22, 2017

The Sue Shelton White bronze sculpture on granite will be dedicated at 3:00 pm, Thursday, May 25, 2017 at Jackson City Hall Plaza. Presenters will include: Madison County Mayor Jimmy Harris; Harbert Alexander Sr., Madison County historian, representing Jackson City Mayor Jerry Gist; and Jacque Hillman, president of the Sue Shelton White Memorial Committee, whose members will be recognized for their efforts.

Paula Casey of Memphis, Tennessee Woman Suffrage Heritage Trail co-founder; will offer remarks on Tennessee, “The Perfect 36.” The event will feature local actor Dana Poteete portraying Sue Shelton White and Esther Gray Lemus will sing “Standing on the Shoulders” by Joyce Rouse. A number of “suffragists” may be present as well.

Sculptor Wanda Stanfill will discuss the sculpture’s significance to Jackson and West Tennessee and lead the unveiling of the monument, funded by private donations and presented as a gift to the City of Jackson. The statue will become part of the Tennessee Woman Suffrage Heritage Trail and the nationwide Centennial Celebration of the Nineteenth Amendment in 2020.

Sue Shelton White, Tennessee suffragist, 1887-1943, was a West Tennessee woman who changed America. Originally from Chester County, she became the only Tennessee suffragist thrown into jail for five days in 1919 for burning an image of President Woodrow Wilson in front of the White House because he reneged on his pledge to award women the right to vote. She campaigned relentlessly statewide for Tennessee to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment, becoming the required 36th state to do so, giving women in America the right to vote on Aug. 18, 1920.

Sue White became an attorney, starting a law practice in 1926 with Judge Hu Anderson. She wrote the married women’s property act and the widow’s pension act for the state of Tennessee, and then became friends with Eleanor Roosevelt, going to Washington D.C. to help write and implement the Social Security Act.

The public is invited to attend this free presentation. For more information, call Jacque Hillman at (731) 394-2894.