In anticipation of the centennial of the 19th Amendment, I began researching more fully the biographies I would post on HerStory. Then I read an article by Brent Staples, a member of the NYTimes editorial board. That article made me look at the suffrage movement in an entirely different way. Certainly all women have every right to point with disdain at how they have been largely left out of history but African-American women have been very deliberately written out of history. They were most certainly written out of the history of the Suffrage movement, as pointed out by Mr. Brent’s article. African-American women helped in the fight but then were denied the right to vote for decades after the 19th Amendment became a part of the Constitution.
When Mary Church Terrell, the Afican-American suffragist, asked for help from her white sisters, she was denied. Her white sisters thought the disenfranchisement of black women was a race problem, not a gender problem. By focusing on the contributions our black sisters made, we can help give them the honor they so richly deserve.
HerStory needs to remember our African-American sisters in every way we can. They deserve no less than that from us.