Parade Planning Exposes Racial Divides
Almost immediately, plans for the March 3, 1913, parade became embroiled in controversy when questions arose as to whether African American women would be permitted to participate at risk of losing southern white women’s involvement. Alice Paul expressed her concerns to Alice Stone Blackwell noting “that it would be unfortunate if we had any large number of negroes in our Suffrage Procession” in segregated Washington. Alice Stone Blackwell expressed relief that Alice Paul had not excluded African Americans but shared her hopes for a low turnout “in view of the wicked and irrational color prejudice so prevalent” in segregated Washington. Anna Howard Shaw telegrammed Paul ordering her to stop discouraging black participation.