19th Amendment Turns 100: Fight for Voting Rights Builds on Centuries of Struggle Led by Black Women

As this year marks 100 years since the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing women’s right to vote, we look at the connection between the movement for women’s suffrage and the movement to abolish slavery. Many states created laws to continue to deny women the vote, and African American women were subjected to the same Jim Crow laws already used to deny the vote to African American men. “To look for African American women and their history of the vote in 1920 is to miss the important chapter that begins in 1920 and doesn’t culminate until the Voting Rights Act is adopted in 1965,” says author and Johns Hopkins University history professor Martha Jones, whose forthcoming book is “Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote and Insisted on Equality for All.” 

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