Dr. Martha S. Jones: Vanguard
Where: Books Are Magic
225 Smith St.
718-246-2665 Price: Free
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In the standard story, the suffrage crusade began in Seneca Falls in 1848 and ended with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. But this overwhelmingly white women’s movement did not win the vote for most black women. Securing their rights required a movement of their own.
In Vanguard, acclaimed historian Martha S. Jones offers a new history of African American women’s political lives in America. She recounts how they defied both racism and sexism to fight for the ballot, and how they wielded political power to secure the equality and dignity of all persons. From the earliest days of the republic to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and beyond, Jones excavates the lives and work of black women — Maria Stewart, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Fannie Lou Hamer, and more — who were the vanguard of women’s rights, calling on America to realize its best ideals.
Dr. Martha S. Jones is a legal and cultural historian whose work examines how black Americans have shaped the story of American democracy. She is a Professor at Johns Hopkins University and author of Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All (2020), Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America (2018), and All Bound Up Together: The Woman Question in African American Public Culture 1830-1900 (2007). You can check out some of Martha’s recent writing on Vanguard in TIME and New York Times. She was featured in the new PBS documentary American Experience: The Vote.Buy tickets/get more info now