Obtaining the vote was just one item on a long civil rights agenda.
When Congress ratified the 19th Amendment on August 18,1920, giving American women the right to vote, it reflected the culmination of generations’ worth of work by resolute suffragists of all races and backgrounds. Historically, attention has focused on the efforts of white movement leaders like Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. But they worked alongside many lesser-known suffragists, such as Marie Louise Bottineau Baldwin, Dr. Mabel Ping-Hua Lee and Nina Otero-Warren, who made crucial contributions to the cause—while also battling racism and discrimination.
For their part, “Black suffragists came to the suffrage movement from a different perspective,” said Earnestine Jenkins, who teaches Black history and culture at the University of Memphis. Their movement, she says, grew out of the broader struggle for basic human and civil rights during the oppressive Jim Crow era.
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