This August marks the 100th anniversary of women securing the right to vote in the United States after Congress ratified the 19th Amendment on August 18, 1920, following decades of activism.
But even after the passing of the 19th Amendment, promising that the right to vote would “not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex,” women of color were still barred from the polls in many states. Some Black female suffragists then joined the suffrage movement, and in the century that followed, they fought for the rights of their fellow women to vote in the midst of discrimination and racism.
These Black female activists, who were then concerned with white mob violence including lynching, were confident that voting will become a crucial tool of empowerment.
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As suffragists, they may not have received the same attention as Susan B. Anthony or Elizabeth Cady Stanton, but they were deeply involved in the quest for women’s suffrage, especially Black women.