After what Susan B. Anthony called “the long, hard fight,” the Nineteenth Amendment enfranchising 26 million white and Black women, was added to the Constitution on August 26, 1920. However, the Nineteenth Amendment was an incomplete victory. Black and white women fought hard for voting rights and doubled the number of eligible voters, but the amendment did not enfranchise all women, or even protect the rights of those women who could vote. A century later, women are still grappling with how to use the vote and their political power to expand civil rights, confront racial violence, improve maternal health, advance educational and employment opportunities, and secure reproductive rights.
It would take another long, hard struggle for white and Black women, separately and occasionally together, to advance. They faced opposition at every step. In addition, activist Black women confronted horrific and institutionalized racial violence. Join Elisabeth Griffith, author of Formidable: American Women and the Fight for Equality: 1920–2020, as she focuses on a diverse cast of characters, some notable, many unknown, as she highlights how the diversity of the women’s movement mirrors America.