Black Suffragists2021-02-16T16:39:54-05:00

Resource

Black Suffragists

An article written by Adella Hunt Logan and published in the NAACP’s magazine, The Crisis. It includes reasons why the vote was particularly important to Black women.

The first page of an article written by Adella Hunt Logan outlining the reasons why Black women should have and use the vote.
Colored Women as Voters, 1/2

“Colored Women as Voters.” The Crisis, September 1912. The Modernist Journals Project: Brown University and the University of Tulsa.

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The second page of an article written by Adella Hunt Logan outlining the reasons why Black women should have and use the vote.

Colored Women as Voters, 2/2

“Colored Women as Voters.” The Crisis, September 1912. The Modernist Journals Project: Brown University and the University of Tulsa.

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Background

Not all suffragists were white middle-class women. Black suffragists like Mary Church TerrellIda B. Wells, and Fannie Barrier Williams played an important role in the fight for woman suffrage. Black suffragists had the double challenge of fighting both gender and racial stereotypes. Large national organizations like the National American Women Suffrage Association invited select Black leaders to attend meetings or speak at conventions. But most Black suffragists did not enjoy this experience. As the national woman suffrage movement focused on courting white, native-born supporters, Black women formed their own suffrage organizations. These organizations empowered Black women not only to fight for the vote, but also to bring attention to the wider struggles of the Black community. Black women argued that the vote would make them powerful enfranchised citizens in a nation divided by race.

For more about suffrage for Black women, watch the video below.

This video is from “Women Have Always Worked,” a free massive open online course produced in collaboration with Columbia University.

About the Document

This article appeared in a special suffrage issue of The Crisis, a magazine published by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The author, Adella Hunt Logan, was an influential leader in the Black community. She and her husband, Warren Logan, were teachers at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. It was there that she organized monthly suffrage meetings. Adella died in 1915 and did not live to see national woman suffrage achieved.

Vocabulary

  • arraigned: To be accused of committing a crime.
  • enfranchised: Granted the right to vote.
  • juvenile: Young person.
  • misdemeanor: A minor crime.
  • propaganda: Materials or ideas that spread information intended to persuade people to take action.
  • Tuskegee Institute: An Alabama school founded by Booker T. Washington in 1881 for the purpose of training Black teachers.

Discussion Questions

  • What are the key points in this document? How does Adella Hunt Logan make the case for Black women to vote?
  • How does Adella Hunt Logan specifically address the experience of Black women and their relationship to the question of suffrage?
  • How does Adella Hunt Logan link woman suffrage to the juvenile justice system? How does her argument resonate with contemporary conversations about the American justice system and Black activism?
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Suggested Activities

Themes

AMERICAN IDENTITY AND CITIZENSHIP; ACTIVISM AND SOCIAL CHANGE

New-York Historical Society Curriculum Library Connections

Source Notes
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