Fighting to vote: A century of struggle for women’s suffrage

On August 18, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, thus giving women the right to vote. This was the culmination of a suffrage movement that was launched in 1848 at the Seneca Falls Convention in New York, which was also attended by leading abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass. An effort to secure women’s suffrage failed at the US Supreme Court, leading to the movement to win the vote by a constitutional amendment. Enactment of women’s suffrage in 1920 was historic, but it did not end discrimination against African American women, who continued to be denied the vote due to Jim Crow racial discrimination laws until passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. Marlboro College Professor Emerita Meg Mott discusses the suffrage movement, the racial divisions within it, enduring discrimination faced by African American and LGBTQ women, and parallels to modern efforts at voter suppression. (August 19, 2020 broadcast)

Meg Mott, Professor of Politics Emerita, Marlboro College

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