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Exhibition Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote

Ida B. Wells-Barnett (1862–1931), wearing “Martyred Negro Soldiers” button, between 1917–1919. Facsimile. Ida B. Wells Papers, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library (061.03.00)

Ida B. Wells-Barnett Holds Her Ground

Continued concerns about the participation of African Americans in the March 1913 parade led organizers to concoct a plan whereby men’s suffrage leagues would be strategically placed to separate white and black marchers. Accounts of what actually transpired differ. Many African American suffragists were segregated, but not all. Notably Ida B. Wells-Barnett, fearless journalist, anti-lynching crusader, and founder of the Alpha Suffrage Club for African-American women, marched with her state contingent from Illinois, despite some of them endorsing the parade’s official segregated stance.