Summary: Rosalyn Terborg-Penn draws from original documents to take a comprehensive look at the African American women who fought for the right to vote. She analyzes the women's own stories, and examines why they joined and how they participated in the U. S. women's suffrage movement.
Not all African American women suffragists were from elite circles. Terborg-Penn finds representation by working-class and professional women, from all parts of the nation. Some emplo ...show moreyed radical, others conservative, means to gain the right to vote. Black women, however, were unified in working to use the ballot to improve not only their own status, but the lives of black people in their communities.
Following the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, state governments in the South enacted policies which disfranchised African American women. Many white suffragists closed their eyes to these discriminatory acts. Terborg-Penn shows how every political and racial effort to keep African American women disfranchised met with their active resistance until black women finally achieved full citizenship.