Into Black Women and the 19th Amendment

Black women were pushed out of the fight for the women’s vote. 100 years later, they are still fighting for the franchise.

About this episode:

The 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified 100 years ago, on August 18, 1920, giving women the right to vote. But like many of the promises in the US Constitution, this was a victory primarily for white people. The suffrage movement was notoriously rife with anti-Blackness. So Black leaders like Ida B. Wells and Mary Church Terrell paved their own way, aiming to undo racism and win voting rights for Black women.

As the United States celebrates a century milestone for 19th Amendment, we’re taking a moment to understand the role Black women played in the suffrage movement, and how that political participation has provided important lessons for today.

Martha Jones is a legal and cultural historian who studies Black women’s political participation. She’s a professor at Johns Hopkins University, and the author of a new book entitled “Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All.”

Jones joined Into America host Trymaine Lee to talk about the generations-long fight of Black women for full voting rights.

Find the transcript here.

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