The 19th Amendment passed in 1920, but, as one of the few things we probably do remember from history class, that definitely wasn’t the end of the fight for voting rights. And although we learned the names of the prominent women of the suffrage movement (leaving out their racism and classism, of course), we didn’t hear much about the actions of white women in the years after suffrage “won.” In this episode, we discuss where white women got involved in the movement against voter suppression, where they didn’t, and why both were problematic. There were some efforts to be more inclusive of Black women in parts of this effort, but the old white woman habits of capitulating to white supremacy were still around. We’re not shocked anymore, but we’re still disgusted. Shout out to legal scholars Ronnie Podolefsky and Sarah Wilkerson-Freeman for their super helpful articles shining a light on white women's fuckery related to the poll tax.
Podolefsky, R. L. (1997). Illusion of suffrage: Female voting rights and the women's poll tax repeal movement after the Nineteenth Amendment. Notre Dame L. Rev., 73, 839.
Wilkerson-Freeman, S. (2002). The second battle for woman suffrage: Alabama white women, the poll tax, and VO Key's master narrative of southern politics. The Journal of Southern History, 68(2), 333-374.
Virginia Durr and Rosa Parks in 1981—three years before Mississippi ratified the 19th Amendment.