suffrage

Suffrage commemorations highlight racial divide

 

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — As the U.S. marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, many event organizers, mindful that theoriginally benefited mostly white women, have been careful to present it as a commemoration, not a celebration.

The amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified on Aug. 18, 1920, but many women of color were prevented from casting ballots for decades afterward because of poll taxes, literacy tests, overt racism, intimidation, and laws that prevented the grandchildren of slaves from voting. Much of that didn’t change until the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

From exhibits inside the Arizona Capitol Museum to a gathering on the North Carolina Statehouse lawn, many commemorations, including those that moved online because of the coronavirus pandemic, have highlighted a more nuanced history of the American women’s suffrage movement alongside the traditional tributes to well-known suffragists such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

The 100th

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Suffrage anniversary commemorations highlight racial divide

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — As the U.S. marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, many event organizers, mindful that the 19th Amendment originally benefited mostly white women, have been careful to present it as a commemoration, not a celebration.

The amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified on Aug. 18, 1920, but many women of color were prevented from casting ballots for decades afterward because of poll taxes, literacy tests, overt racism, intimidation, and laws that prevented the grandchildren of slaves from voting. Much of that didn’t change until the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

From exhibits inside the Arizona Capitol Museum to a gathering on the North Carolina statehouse lawn, many commemorations, including those that moved online because of the coronavirus pandemic, have highlighted a more nuanced history of the American women’s suffrage movement alongside the traditional tributes to well-known suffragists such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady

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How an L.A. museum is celebrating the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage

Buttons in the Natural History Museum's 19th Amendment centennial exhibition, clockwise from top left: "ERA YES" from the 1960s or '70s; Shirley Chisholm's campaign button; a 1970s button supporting activist Angela Davis; and a 1960s button combining the Venus symbol with the Aztec Eagle logo of the United Farm Workers, co-founded by Dolores Huerta. <span class="copyright">(Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County)</span>
Buttons in the Natural History Museum’s 19th Amendment centennial exhibition, clockwise from top left: “ERA YES” from the 1960s or ’70s; Shirley Chisholm’s campaign button; a 1970s button supporting activist Angela Davis; and a 1960s button combining the Venus symbol with the Aztec Eagle logo of the United Farm Workers, co-founded by Dolores Huerta. (Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County)

One of the vintage buttons simply says in all capital letters: “ERA YES.” Another says “Viva la mujer,” a yellow female pictogram set against a strong red background. Still another button reads “Chisholm for president,” a reference to the first Black woman elected to Congress and one of the subjects in HBO’s recent series “Mrs. America.”

Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton and Patsy Mink, the first woman of color elected to Congress, are here too — on buttons displayed in the National History Museum of Los Angeles County’s upcoming digital

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