Experiencing Interruptions?

Citizens at Last: Texas Women Fight for the Vote

Citizens at Last is a documentary film that tells the story of the grit, persistence, and tactical smarts of the Texas women who organized, demonstrated, and won the vote for women. Citizens at Last follows the early days of organizing, explores the strategic role Texas suffragists played in the national movement, and exposes the pro-Jim Crow policies of the anti-suffragists who stood in their way. Like all the former Confederate states, Texas saw women’s suffrage as a threat to white male supremacy. Because of Texans such as Minnie Fisher Cunningham, Annette Finnigan, Marianna Folsom, Jovita Idar, and Maude Sampson, Texas became the first state in the South and the ninth in the nation to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment. But it was a segregated victory. While white suffragists celebrated in major American capitols, African American women were left without the vote in Jim Crow Texas, and Tejanas were ruled by the South Texas bosses. Exasperated but undaunted, African American women and Tejanas continued their fight for equal voting rights until long after 1920.

Citizens at Last elucidates the crucial role Texas women played in the long struggle for equal voting rights. The words of Suffragist, Jane Y McCallum, captured the thrill of voting for the first time after a long, hard fight, whether for the passage of the 19th amendment in 1920, or the Voting Rights Act in 1965, when she wrote, “With what high hopes and enthusiasms women stepped forth into a world in which they were citizens at last! ”

  • Nancy Schiesari
  • Laura Furman
  • Ellen Temple
  • Nancy Schiesari
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Historical, Educational
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 28 minutes 56 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 1, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English, Spanish
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Nancy Schiesari

Nancy Schiesari is an experienced director, producer and cinematographer on both broadcast documentaries and award-winning independent films. Her latest full-length documentary, Canine Soldiers: the Militarization of Love, premiered at the Austin Film Festival and aired nationally on PBS over Memorial Day weekend, 2018. She also directed and produced feature-length documentaries, Cactus Jack, Lone Star on Capitol Hill (PBS), Tattooed Under Fire (PBS), Hansel Mieth-Vagabond Photographer (Independent Lens) and History Man, a half-hour profile on Martin Scorsese for BBC 4, London.

Nancy comes with thirty years’ experience as a Director of Photography on over 50 documentaries and feature films broadcast for England’s Channel 4, BBC, ABC, National Geographic, and PBS. She has filmed in Europe, the US, Africa, India, Pakistan, Iceland, and Latin America. She was nominated for a Television Emmy for outstanding cinematography on The Human Face (producer John Cleese). Among her work as a cinematographer is Barbara Sonneborn’s Oscar-nominated Regret to Inform, winner best documentary at Sundance, and Pratibha Parmar and Alice Walker’s Warrior Marks, Channel Four, London. Nancy graduated with an MFA from the Royal College of Art, London, and is a professor in production in the Radio –Television and Film Department at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the mother of two grown children, Eleanor Cheetham and Felix Turton.

In 2010, she founded MO-TI productions, dedicated to making films with diverse talent committed to telling stories from new perspectives. www.motiproductions.com.

Add Director Biography