Story Walk: major

Story Walk: "major"

Susan B. Anthony by Barbara Blaisdell

[speaker 1] I know that Susan B. Anthony and her causes are dear to your heart. And I’d like to know about that.

Barbara Blaisdell: Susan B., as she was called, is a major civil rights figure in the history of this country, and she was involved in an amazing array of things, and her major causes, of course, were abolition and women’s suffrage, which was getting women the vote in this country. She operated out of Rochester for most of her active years, she lived to be eighty-six, and she died in 1906, so there was a whole ‘nother fourteen years after that before women got the vote in 1920. But we owe so much to Miss Anthony, and to me she represents everything I, you know, I aspire to, I think it’s, she’s one of the most wonderful role models a person could have.

[speaker 1] What happens to you when you’re going into that process and then doing your portrayal?

Barbara Blaisdell: Well, it’s a very good question, it’s a complex sort of thing that happens. I think about her as I’m getting ready and I think, and I say sort of in my head to her, “Alrighty, Miss Anthony, I hope I’ll do you well today, you know I hope I’ll portray this in a way that would make you proud.” And sometimes, when I’m doing the work, you know, if somebody’s asking me difficult questions or whatever, I’ll think to myself, “Oh, boy, I need your help, Miss Anthony,” you know. But there’s something that sort of comes over me that, you know, my entire focus is on staying in the first person, and using terms that she would use, and you know, it just sort of takes me over. I often say the term, I feel as though getting involved with portraying Anthony has been star-crossed for me, because it’s made such a difference in my own personal life. So I just feel extremely fortunate to have oddly come across this opportunity and turned it into something that has really informed my life.