Female politicians of color celebrate 19th Amendment centennial while recognizing shortfalls

The centennial anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment just passed in August. The crowning achievement of the women’s suffrage movement, the amendment reads, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” 

In reality, though, not all women were granted the right to vote in 1920. That milestone wasn’t wouldn’t come until the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

And even now, Congresswoman Deb Haaland, Democrat of New Mexico, considers the anniversary to be representative of obstacles that remain.

“We are still in a battle for access to voting, especially for communities of color, and working people,” she said in an interview. 

In the same way that many Americans, especially White Americans, have come to recognize that holidays like the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving are more complicated than fireworks and turkeys, the 19th Amendment centennial also merits another look —at both its triumphs and its shortfalls. 


Susan B. Anthony authored the Woman Suffrage Amendment introduced in Congress in 1878. It wouldn’t be certified as law until August 26, 1920. In that time, prominent advocates of the suffrage movement endured harassment, threats and imprisonment as they fought to achieve enfranchisement. 

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