Black Women’s Battle for the Ballot with Evette Dionne & Martha S. Jones

Evette Dionne, editor-in-chief of Bitch Media and author of Lifting as We Climb: Black Women’s Battle for the Ballot Box, discusses her Coretta Scott King Author Honor book with Martha S. Jones, author of Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All.

In Lifting as We Climb, Dionne tells the important, overlooked story of Black women as a force in the suffrage movement—even when fellow suffragists did not accept them as equal partners in the struggle. Through this powerful book, she draws an important historical line from abolition to suffrage to civil rights to contemporary young activists, filling in the blanks of the American suffrage story.

In Vanguard, 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. She excavates the lives and work of Black women who were the vanguard of women’s rights, calling on America to realize its best ideals.

Presented as part of the Virginia Festival of the Book’s Shelf Life virtual series. Learn more at VaBook.org.


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