By Ann D. Gordon, Bettye Collier-Thomas, John H. Bracey, Arlene Voski Avakian, Joyce Avrech Berkman
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Extra info for African American Women and the Vote, 1837-1965
However, the efforts of white supremacists to exclude black women from suffrage amendments only stimulated black men to join their women in the push for a Nineteenth Amendment, which would exclude no women. During the last eight years before ratification of the federal amendment, coalitions of black men and black women on national and local levels fought white supremacy. Throughout the existence of the movement, suffrage advocates of both races identified the absence of civil and political rights as barriers to the progress of women.
Because the topic had not previously been treated as a whole, a conference would bring together historians not otherwise collaborating to create a mosaic of historical examples out of dispersed and unconnected studies. A preliminary proposal was drawn up in the winter of 1986 and circulated first among faculty at the University of Massachusetts and then to six prominent outside historians. It suggested turn- Page 7 ing points in the political history and identified topics for consideration in each era, anticipating that this tentative framework would be revised during the course of the conference.
It is difficult to find a more cynical attitude toward universal womanhood than this, of promising sexual equality within existing inequalities of race. Black women's struggle to bar states from disfranchising African American men and women was carried on for forty-five more years. Even before it convened, plans for the conference in 1987 benefited from efforts of scholars in African American and women's history to refine a historical framework and identify concepts indigenous to the history of African American women and the vote.
African American Women and the Vote, 1837-1965 by Ann D. Gordon, Bettye Collier-Thomas, John H. Bracey, Arlene Voski Avakian, Joyce Avrech Berkman