The Black Women Behind the Ongoing Fight for Suffrage
August 13, 2020
We’re coming up on the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment which was ratified on August 18th, 1920 and then certified eight days later. The 19th Amendment inked women’s suffrage into American history, a culminating moment in an effort to win political power. But the ordained heroes of women’s suffrage – like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and later Alice Paul – often tossed out the leadership and movement-building of Black women. The absence of those voices from the popular historical record has obscured the centuries-long role that Black women have played in expanding voting rights. And, of course, we’re releasing this episode just days after presidential candidate Joe Biden announced Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, which marks the first time a woman of color is on a major party ticket.
Joining us to discuss how the history of voting rights has led us to this moment is Martha S. Jones, the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor, and professor of History at Johns Hopkins University. She is also the author of a new book called Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All.