August 26

August 26, 1920 – Women Given The Right To Vote

Register to vote African American 1960s sign

A group of African-American children (primarily female) gather around a sign and booth to register voters. Early 1960s.

On August 26, 1920 the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified which gave women the right to vote. This was a momentous occasion for all women; although having the legal right to vote without being prohibited through intimidation, fear, racial discrimination, having to pay head taxes, take poll test and become the victims of violence were the possible costs incurred by many African American women in the early twentieth century. These actions initially occurred more often in the south than the northern states.

Suffragists Parade Down Fifth Avenue, 1917

Suffragists Parade Down Fifth Avenue, 1917

African American women continued to find themselves disenfranchised and forced out of the political arena even into the 1960’s. Historically, some great names of the women’s suffrage movement are Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks, Anna J. Cooper, Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer and many more known and unknown who worked silently behind the scenes to effect change openly for all women.

Anna J. Cooper ” Only the Black Woman can say when and where I enter in the quiet undisputed dignity of my womanhood, without violence or special patronage; then and there the whole Negro race enters with me.”

 

Anna J. Cooper 1892

Anna J. Cooper 1892

It has been the African American female voter that has helped elect and sustain many of America’s great politicians such as President Barack Obama.  Enter into any progressive campaign office large or small in just about any city in America and you will find the African American female leading or working in the objectives of the office.