The original benefactors of this volume are the people and institutions who made possible the 1987 conference on Afro-American Women and the Vote, 1837 to 1965, for which these essays were first written. The conference was funded by the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the ' Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities and Public Policy the Charles H. Revson Foundation, and the University's Alumni Association Board of Directors. The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts cosponsored the event.
For their vision of an outline of African American women's history and knowledge of their field, we thank members of the planning conference who in 1986 developed the historical outline evident still in these essays. They are Sylvia M. Jacobs, Kathryn Kish Sklar, Ellen C. DuBois, Bettina Aptheker, Rosalyn Terborg-Penn, and Bettye Collier-Thomas.
A number of excellent contributions to the conference itself could not be included in this book but deserve notice and thanks nonetheless. Mary Frances Berry launched the event with an address on politics that wove together her command of history and her immediate experience in Washington, D.C. Political practice was again the topic at the end of the conference, in a round-table discussion with Patricia Facey, League of Women Voters; Gracia Hillman, Na-