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Exhibition Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote

Mary Church Terrell (1863–1954) to Moorfield Storey [sic Morefield Story] (1845–1929), Carbon copy, October 27, 1920. Mary Church Terrell Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (129.00.00)
Harris & Ewing, photographer. Mary Church Terrell, between 1920 and 1940. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (130.00.00)

“The Colored Women of the South Will be Shamefully Treated”

Despite ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, obstacles to voting remained, especially for African American women. In this October 1920 letter, educator and civil rights activist Mary Church Terrell, one of the founders of the National Association of Colored Women in 1896, declared herself “the first victim” of post-ratification voter suppression “north of the Mason & Dixon Line.” She described to NAACP president Moorfield Storey how a train ticket agent sought to arrest her after she inquired about an African American Republican Party organizer in Delaware.

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