Asserting their right to be full citizens, to vote, and to be treated with respect, Black women suffragists emphasized the intersections of racism and sexism in their lives. For suffragist Mary Church Terrell and other Black women, the struggle for the vote must include protecting the citizenship rights of Black men who were being disenfranchised throughout the South. Black suffragists linked women’s voting rights to improved civil rights for all, faced indifference and racism within the white woman suffrage movement, but pressed ahead with their calls for full equality without regard to race or gender.
Alison M. Parker is Chair & Richards Professor of American History at the University of Delaware. She has research and teaching interests in women’s and gender history, African American history, and legal history. In 2017-2018, Parker was an Andrew W. Mellon Advanced Fellow at the James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference at Emory University. Her book, Unceasing Militant: The Life of Mary Church Terrell is forthcoming (December 2020) from the University of North Carolina Press, in its John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture. Among other publications, Parker is the author of two monographs, Articulating Rights: Nineteenth-Century American Women on Race, Reform, and the State (2010)and Purifying America: Women, Cultural Reform, and Pro-Censorship Activism, 1873-1933 (1997). She also serves as the founding editor of the Gender and Race in American History book series for the University of Rochester Press. As Chair of the History Department at the University of Delaware, Parker is committed to helping to build a coalition of students, faculty, and staff promoting a wide-ranging anti-racism agenda.
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