The Emancipation and Liberation of One Karen Smith

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Destinee Wilson, Class of 2021
Alexandra Lang, Class of 2021
Chloe Campos, Class of 2021


Set in the late 1910s, a white woman named Karen Smith lives an ordinary life married to her husband in Brooklyn, New York in a lovely home. Brad, the husband of Karen, has a job on Wall Street, where he commutes to work. He is very controlling, misogynist, and racist. They have been married for five years and have a normal and happy life, the complete American Dream. During this time, the women of the United States are embroiled in the fight for suffrage, with many in opposition. Karen and Brad are a part of the anti-suffrage movement that believes in a limited role for women, such as “working in the home.” Realizing that the suffrage movement was gaining momentum, Karen decides to infiltrate the National Women’s Party. Karen is determined to find out insider information to harm the suffrage movement. While engaging in espionage, Karen discovers herself, makes friends, and decides how she wants to be remembered by history.

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Comments from Mentors

Alexandra, Chloe, and Destinee’s work goes above-and-beyond a retelling of the Suffragist Movement in early twentieth-century America. We were impressed by how the students’ narrative celebrated a plurality of perspectives, giving voice to those who are often marginalized in American history: the women of color and male allies who fiercely championed women’s rights.

Dr. Gina Bombola

Destinee is a thoughtful writer who is able to plumb the depths of a variety of subjects and present her ideas in multiple genres. Her writing demonstrates a deep understanding of human nature and issues related to social justice.   

Dr. Wendy Williams

Destinee Wilson is a woman of conviction and courage who has made my life richer by knowing her.  Teaching her has been an honor.  Like the main character in the musical, Destinee is a woman of conviction who is finding her place in the world.  Unlike the main character, she approaches life with an open heart and strives to help others – especially the marginalized – become empowered.  I have had Destinee in several classes and can always count on her to have keen insights and a unique perspective on topics.  I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her in our numerous conversations in my office (and over Zoom), and am very confident her future will be bright.  Upon graduation, she plans to go to law school—after which she will be a fierce advocate.  Destinee’s time at TCU has been, at times, challenging, but her commitment to her education, to her community, and to her family is powerful.  I have nothing but the greatest respect for her—both academically and personally—and hold her in the highest regard.  She is truly a special person whose presence will be felt long after graduation.

Dr. Joanne Green



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John V. Roach Honors College