suffrage

Classic Episode: A Controversial Woman

Who really was Susan B. Anthony, figurehead of American women's suffrage? In celebration of her birthday, Cristen and Caroline explore Anthony's fascinating biography and the less well-known, controversial aspects of her singleminded crusade for the women's vote.

9 African-American Suffragists You Should Know

The 1902 publication of the "History of Woman Suffrage," co-authored by Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Matilda Joslin Gage was a milestone in first-wave feminism, as it was the product of a massive effort to document women's continuing march toward equality and has since been a go-to source on American suffrage. However, many of the black women leaders who also rallied alongside white women for abolition, temperance and the right to vote were overshadowed or erased completely from the history book. In fact, Sojourner Truth the only African-American mentioned. The true history of the quest for the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote, ratified in 1920, is incomplete without understanding the intersection of race and gender at the time in post-Civil War, Reconstruction-era America. After the passage of the 15th Amendment that gave black men voting rights, the mainstream suffrage movement underwent a devastating splintering in which many white suffrage leaders, including Susan B. Anthony, largely turned their backs on the enfranchisement of black women for fear of racial politics detracting from their gender-focused initiatives. Though by no means a comprehensive round-up of all the fearless, pioneering African-American women of the 19th and early 20th century who agitated for women's rights while simultaneously seeking to uplift black communities across the United States, the following nine women are a snapshot of incredible lives often overlooked in superficial histories of turn-of-the-century feminism.

Vegetarian Suffragists

In late 19th-century America and Britain, many suffragists were heavily involved in the temperance movement and antivivisection activism, and vegetarianism was a dietary extension of that.

Abolitionist Heroines

Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States, and in recognition, Cristen and Caroline discuss the often unsung women who helped set an enslaved people free, despite tremendous race- and gender-based prejudice.

Black Women Striving for Suffrage

The history of the women's movement for suffrage was written by white women and largely overshadows the African-American feminists who worked alongside them, battling not only gender inequity but also racism, disenfranchisement and segregation from mainstream suffrage organizations. Cristen and Caroline highlight Ida B. Wells and other black women integral to winning the vote for all American women.

Anti-Suffrage Women Fought Against the Vote

It might sound nice to portray suffrage as a universal sisterhood movement in which women everywhere were battling arm-in-arm for the vote. But during those Victorian era years that extolled female piety and the "cult of motherhood", plenty of women opposed the voting initiative and even rallied against it through anti-suffrage groups.