Celebrating 100 Years of Women's Voting Rights

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Did You Know? A Few Suffrage Facts

The 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote, but not all women could vote.  For example, black women in the south were prohibited from casting their ballots in many states until the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. 

Suffragists toiled for almost 100 years before the 19th Amendment was passed.

The term “suffragettes” was used to deride militant suffragists.  The ending “ette,” implying small (e.g., kitchenette versus kitchen), was meant to diminish them.

Even today, some states continue to create obstacles to minority voting. 

The US suffragist colors of purple, white and gold represented loyalty (to the cause), purity (quality of purpose), and life or hope.  White and gold were the only colors used by all US suffragists.

The suffragist movement grew out of abolitionism.  While abolitionists agreed the goal should be universal suffrage (voting rights for blacks and women), a schism occurred over timing.  

Some activists like Julia Ward Howe, Antoinette Brown, Lucy Stone and eventually Frederick Douglass, thought they should work to first secure the vote for black men.  This had more support than the vote for women.  

On the other side was Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who argued that the they should work to get black men the vote as well as black and white women.  Anthony and Stanton even allied with racist Southerner to further their goals.  

Rival organizations were created, and they did not reconcile until 1890.

Useful Links: 

          Suffrage 100 MA

          League Of Women Voters Newton


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