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Black Women’s Long Struggle for Voting Rights

On March 3, 1913, the day before Woodrow Wilson’s presidential inauguration, more than 5,000 women gathered in Washington, D.C. for a “suffrage parade” demanding the right to vote. But when the Black activist Mary Church Terrell proposed that African-American women join the march, its organizer, suffragist leader Alice Paul, worried about the reaction of white…

On March 3, 1913, the day before Woodrow Wilson’s presidential inauguration, more than 5,000 women gathered in Washington, D.C. for a “suffrage parade” demanding the right to vote. But when the Black activist Mary Church Terrell proposed that African-American women join the march, its organizer, suffragist leader Alice Paul, worried about the reaction of white Southern women. So she offered a compromise: Black women could march at the back. Many, including the crusading journalist Ida B. Wells-Barnett, defied Paul and walked alongside their white counterparts.

The…

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