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Resolution RS2019-110

A Resolution recognizing Juno Frankie Seay Pierce, an African American Nashville suffragist who worked with others to assure Tennessee would be the 36th and final state needed to ratify the 19th Amendment.

WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Council, in collaboration with the Council’s Women’s Caucus and the Mayor’s Council on the State of Women, is sponsoring a series of Resolutions honoring the women’s suffrage movement to honor the Centennial celebration of the ratification of the 19th Amendment in August 2020; and

WHEREAS, Tennessee played an important role in the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which gave women the right to vote. On August 18, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th and final state needed to ratify the 19th Amendment for it to become law; and

WHEREAS, there is national interest in the Suffrage Centennial in August 2020, and in recognition of the 100-year anniversary of women’s right to vote, the Metropolitan Council recognizes the contributions of Juno Frankie Seay Pierce; and

WHEREAS, Juno Frankie Seay Pierce was born in Tennessee to a Mother who had been enslaved and therefore, her date and place of birth are uncertain, however, her date of death is recorded on her grave monument as March 28, 1954; and

WHEREAS, Juno Frankie Seay Pierce’s gravesite was recently restored and is located at the Greenwood Cemetery West on Elm Hill Pike; and

WHEREAS, Juno Frankie Seay Pierce was the only African American woman who addressed the Tennessee State Suffrage Convention held in the State Legislative House Chamber in May 1920, requesting that the Legislature ratify the 19th Amendment; and

WHEREAS, Juno Frankie Seay Pierce founded a school for delinquent African American girls and is listed on the 1930 Census as living at the school as the superintendent; and

WHEREAS, Juno Frankie Seay Pierce was the co-founder of Nashville's Blue Triangle League, Young Women's Christian Association in the 1920s, founded the City Federation of Colored Women's Clubs, and led club members in a march on city hall in protest of the city's segregated public facilities before the modern civil rights movement; and

WHEREAS, Juno Frankie Seay Pierce is memorialized on a statue featuring five suffragists, including three other Tennessee suffragists and Carrie Chapman Catt, which was unveiled in Centennial Park in Nashville in August 2016, and a Tennessee Historical Marker was placed in her honor at 2700 Herman Street; and

WHEREAS, Metro Parks has acquired land for a small park in an area near the state capitol formerly known as Hell's Half Acre, a slum area where African Americans lived in extreme poverty, which will be named the Juno Frankie Seay Pierce Park in honor of the work she did for the former residents of the area; and

WHEREAS, Metro Parks will hold a ribbon cutting and dedication event on November 13, 2019 to celebrate the park and legacy of Juno Frankie Seay Pierce.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY:

Section 1. That the Metropolitan County Council hereby goes on record as recognizing the extraordinary efforts of Juno Frankie Seay Pierce to help assure ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.

Section 2. This resolution shall take effect from and after its passage, the welfare of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsor(s)

Nancy VanReece, Tanaka Vercher, Emily Benedict, Kathleen Murphy, Ginny Welsch, Sharon Hurt, Delishia Porterfield, Gloria Hausser, Burkley Allen, Joy Styles, Zulfat Suara, Tonya Hancock, Sandra Sepulveda, Courtney Johnston, Erin Evans, Jennifer Gamble, Freddie O'Connell, Kyonzté Toombs, Angie Henderson

Legislative History

Referred toRules, Confirmations, and Public Elections Committee

IntroducedNovember 19, 2019

AdoptedNovember 19, 2019

ApprovedNovember 22, 2019

ByMayor Cooper's signature

Requests for ADA accommodation should be directed to the Metropolitan Clerk at 615-862-6770.

Last Modified: 11/25/2019 9:09 AM