How do we honor the 100th anniversary of The 19th Amendment?
One hundred years ago today, on August 18th, 1920, the 19th Amendment was ratified in the United States Congress. The text is simple:
“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”
The moment is a historic, yet complicated one. The ratification of the 19th Amendment was the result of a decades-long, hard-fought battle waged by generations of Suffragettes to win women the right to vote, and bring us one step closer to forming a more perfect union (we’ll kindly direct you to this bop from Mary Poppins).
But this victory, while incredibly important, was imperfect. The harsh reality is that this was predominantly a victory for white women. States in the Jim Crow South passed voter suppression laws like poll taxes and literacy tests to disenfranchise Black Americans. Anti-immigrant legislation like the Chinese Exclusion Act and other immigration laws blocked citizenship for Asian Americans and Latinas, therefore denying their right to suffrage. Some states did not allow citizenship to Native Americans until the late 1950s.
The passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 addressed many of these insidious roadblocks, but that hasn’t stopped relentless efforts to deny suffrage to people of color. In 2013, the Supreme Court invalidated critical sections of the Voting Rights Act, and to this day, States systemically and disproportionally remove Black people from voter rolls, close polling places in neighborhoods predominantly populated by people of color, and block trans and GNC people from voting through voter ID laws.
For every Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, there is an Ida B. Wells, a Fannie Lou Hamer, and a Zitkala-Sa who played an important part in advancing suffrage for women in America. It is incumbent upon us to learn more about our past and present, and the hidden figures we have not yet appropriately recognized, to continue work of building a more just, fair and equitable country.
So what are some things you can do today?
Fight Voter Suppression & Protect the Franchise
Donate to Fair Fight Action, founded by Stacey Abrams and fighting for free and fair elections
Donate to Black Voters Matter, a group working to register Black voters and help them vote
Donate to Higher Heights For America, working to elect Black women
Donate to Latino Victory, working to elect Latina and Hispanic women
Donate to the LGBT Victory Fund, working to elect LGBTQ people
Register to Vote
Are you registered? Learn more here.
Are your friends registered? Are your family members registered to vote?? Is everyone you know registered???
We’ve come a long way in the fight, but there’s still work to do. We’ll see you out there.
Ashley & Team LGP