WASHINGTON — A hundred years ago today, the 19th Amendment — which prevents U.S. citizens from being denied the right to vote based on sex — was certified. Sadly, what we now refer to as Women’s Equality Day in actuality only marks a victory for white women. While some women in certain parts of the country were already voting before 1920, most Black women, Asian American women, Indigenous women, and Latinas were left out of the 19th Amendment, in part by the design of white suffragists who wanted to appeal to white Southerners.
To mark the occasion, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) released a new video today on the incredible leadership of Black women organizers within the suffrage movement; the racism and white supremacy that forced Black women out of the 19th Amendment and erased their contributions to its success; and how their long fight for the right to vote continues today. The video is narrated by several Black women staff members at PPFA, including president and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson.
Statement from Nia Eshu Martin-Robinson, Director of Black Leadership and Engagement at Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“As we mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, we must acknowledge that it is only truly the anniversary of white women’s suffrage. What’s more, it would have been impossible without the tireless work of Black women, work that was purposely scrubbed from the history books. I am proud today to join with my fellow Black female leaders at Planned Parenthood to not only name this injustice, but to name some of the heroic women to whom we all owe so much — leaders like Frances E.W. Harper, Nannie Burroughs, Harriet Tubman, and more. Today, we call on everyone to know their names, honor their legacy, and vote.”
PPFA will be celebrating the Black women who fought for the right to vote all-day across our online platforms.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.