Women and the Vote:
The right to vote is a privilege only recently exercised by the majority of African American women in the United States. Nonetheless, it is a right many of them fought to achieve, beginning in the antebellum period of United States history. Often behind the scenes or ignored in the history of the woman suffrage and black suffrage movements, the African American female was significant in both. Passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, which enfranchised all American women, was due in part to the efforts of African American women. In addition, the struggle to maintain the ballot continued for more, than a generation after passage of the woman suffrage amendment in 1920, as the majority of enfranchised black women were robbed of their hard-won ballots by the success of white political supremacy in the South. A victory in the struggle came with the 1965 Voting Rights Act, when the majority of black men and women, disfranchised in communities all over the South, regained their lost right to the ballot.
Three aims propelled the authors of essays in this book. The first speaks to the need in scholarship on black women to understand the impulse for political power in terms of the black community and its experiences. The second looks to provide historians with models for analyzing the political component of