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July 29, 2020 Feature

Sheroes: The Struggles of Black Suffragists

By Judge Willie J. Epps Jr. and Jonathan M. Warren

Women of color received a raw deal on voting rights. One hundred years ago, the Nineteenth Amendment explicitly recognized that the right to vote could not be denied to any citizen on account of sex with one implicit omission: women of color. In fact, not only could most women of color not vote, but they were generally excluded or minimized by white suffragists during the fight for voting rights. Their inspiring struggle was thereafter largely omitted from the annals of history. This article examines the journey to suffrage for women in the United States with an emphasis on unsung black suffragists. The article then examines progress gained after the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment.

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