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Social Justice Book List - Black Lives Matter Book of the Week

Posted on: September 16, 2020

Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All

Vanguard

by Martha S. Jones

According to conventional wisdom, American women’s campaign for the vote began with the Seneca Falls convention of 1848 and ended with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. But this women’s movement was an overwhelmingly white one, and it secured the constitutional right to vote for white women, not for all women. Historian Martha Jones offers a sweeping account of African American women’s political lives, recounting how they fought for, won, and used the right to the ballot and how they fought against both racism and sexism. From 1830s Boston to the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 and beyond to Shirley Chisholm, Stacey Abrams, and Kamala Harris, Jones shows how black women were again and again the American vanguard of women’s rights, setting the pace in the quest for justice and collective liberation. In the twenty-first century, black women’s power at the polls and in politics is evident. “Highly charged, absorbing reading and most timely in the era of renewed advocacy for civil rights.” —Kirkus Reviews

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