Tag Archives: civil rights

Martha S. Jones VANGUARD: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All

This special edition of Forthright Radio for August 26, 2020, celebrates the Centennial of the signing of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution on August 26, 1920, after the very long, very hard struggle by women of different races and backgrounds to win the right to vote.

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As our guest, Professor Martha S. Jones reminds us, this struggle is not over.

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Martha S. Jones is the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History at The Johns Hopkins University. She is a legal and cultural historian, whose work examines how black Americans have shaped the story of American democracy.

Professor Jones is the author most recently of Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All, which will be published by Basic Books on September 8, 2020.

Her other books include Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America (2018), winner of numerous prestigious awards, and All Bound Up Together: The Woman Question in African American Public Culture 1830-1900, and a coeditor of Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women.

Professor Jones currently serves as a Co-president of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, and on the Executive Board of the Society of American Historians.

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Other articles relating to the struggle for suffrage or pertinent to this interview include:

Black women in politics are no longer a ‘first.’ They are a force.   https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/08/13/black-women-politics-are-no-longer-first-they-are-force/?hpid=hp_save-opinions-float-right-4-0_opinion-card-a-right%3Ahomepage%2Fstory-ans

How Native American Women Inspired the Women’s Rights Movement   https://www.womensvote100.org/the-suff-buffs-blog/2020/4/17/how-native-american-women-inspired-the-womens-rights-movement

In Women’s Suffrage, a Spotlight for Unsung Pioneers  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/13/insider/suffrage-anniversary.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=Reader%20Center

20 Suffragists To Know for 2020   https://www.nps.gov/subjects/womenshistory/20-for-2020.htm

It’s Time The ‘Truth Be Told’ About Black Women’s Leadership In The Fight For The Vote  https://www.forbes.com/sites/marianneschnall/2020/08/05/its-time-the-truth-be-told-about-black-womens-leadership-in-the-fight-for-the-vote/#7342dc855915

Sojourner Truth  https://www.nps.gov/people/sojourner-truth.htm

Ida B. Wells  https://www.nps.gov/people/idabwells.htm

Nannie Helen Burroughs  https://www.nps.gov/people/nannie-helen-burroughs.htm

Mary McLeod Bethune  https://www.nps.gov/people/mary-mcleod-bethune.htm

Septima Poinsette Clark      https://www.nps.gov/people/septimapoinsetteclark.htm

Dr. Mabel Ping-Hua Lee  https://www.nps.gov/people/mabel-lee.htm

Tye Leung Schulze  https://www.nps.gov/people/tye-leung-schulze.htm

Zitkala-Ša (Red Bird / Gertrude Simmons Bonnin)    https://www.nps.gov/people/zitkala-sa.htm

Marie Louise Bottineau Baldwin    https://www.nps.gov/people/marie-louise-bottineau-baldwin.htm

Wilhelmina Kekelaokalaninui Widemann Dowsett     https://www.nps.gov/people/wilhelmina-kekelaokalaninui-widemann-dowsett.htm

Rose Schneiderman  https://www.nps.gov/people/rose-schneiderman.htm

The 19th Amendment: An Important Milestone in an Unfinished Journey  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/15/opinion/19th-amendment-centennial-suffrage.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

The 19th amendment is a reminder that the right to vote is unfinished business     https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/aug/18/the-19th-amendment-is-a-reminder-that-the-right-to-vote-is-unfinished-business

The Women Who Fought Against the Vote   https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/14/us/anti-suffrage-movement-vote.html?action=click&module=Editors%20Picks&pgtype=Homepage

In 1920, Native Women Sought the Vote. Here’s What’s Next.   https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/31/style/19th-amendment-native-womens-suffrage.html?searchResultPosition=1

Before Kamala Harris, There Was Charlotta Bass       https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/04/obituaries/charlotta-bass-vice-president-overlooked.html?action=click&module=Editors%20Picks&pgtype=Homepage

What ‘The New York Times’ Won’t Tell You About Woman Suffrage   https://www.thenation.com/article/society/new-york-times-suffrage/





Susan Neiman Learning from the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil

Born in the Civil Rights era of the Southern U.S., Susan Neiman has spent most of the last four decades in Berlin. She is the Director of The Einstein Forum. Her latest book is Learning from the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.


Among the many things she reminds us of in her book is that the Nazi regime lasted only 12 years – from 1933 to 1945. Likewise, the period we call “Reconstruction” also lasted only 12 years from 1865 to 1877. She quotes her colleague, the late Tony Judt: the historian’s task (is) “to tell what is almost always an uncomfortable story and explain why the discomfort is part of the truth we need to live well and live properly. A well-organised society is one in which we know the truth about ourselves collectively, not one in which we tell pleasant lies about ourselves”.


What can Americans learn from the Germans about confronting and moving on from our racist past toward more social justice? Susan Neiman has much to share of what she has learned from the Germans.

What can we learn of what Southerners have done and are doing to heal the wounds of our past? Susan has much to share of what she has learned in Mississippi and Alabama.


Learning from the Germans: how we might atone for America’s evils   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/10/learning-from-the-germans-review-us-slavery

Mississippi Judge Allows Governor’s Race to Take Place Under Jim Crow-Era Rules   https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/article/Mississippi-governor-s-race-taking-place-under-14803204.php

The First Black Mayor Of Talladega, Alabama, Is Poised To Push His City Into The Future   https://www.huffpost.com/entry/tim-ragland-talladega-alabama-first-black-mayor_n_5db9dcd7e4b066da552b4718

School principal fired for saying ‘I can’t say the Holocaust is a factual event’   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/oct/31/florida-high-school-principal-holocaust-fired

The Massacre That Spawned the Alt-Right       https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/11/03/greensboro-massacre-white-nationalism-klan-229873

Far-right AfD surges to second place in German state election    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/27/far-right-afd-surges-to-second-place-in-german-state-elections

What Holocaust Restitution Taught Me About Slavery Reparations     https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/10/27/slavery-reparations-holocaust-restitution-negotiations-229881

Make yourselves at home: the meaning of hospitality in a divided world    https://www.theguardian.com/food/2019/oct/29/make-yourselves-at-home-the-meaning-of-hospitality-in-a-divided-world

‘We were indifferent to the horror’: Nazi camp inmate to give testimony at trial  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/27/indifferent-horror-nazi-reistance-fighter-bruno-dey-stutthof