The Fall of Reconstruction, Rise of Jim Crow Created Missed Opportunities for Women's Suffrage

Jul 14, 2020

US Postal Service 19th Amendment: Women Vote stamp. Inspired by historic photographs, the stamp features a stylized illustration of suffragists marching in a parade or other public demonstration.
Credit USPS.com

The women’s suffrage movement was a decades-long fight that most historians place starting with the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention. But there are some who place the nearly 100-year struggle starting, in earnest, decades before the civil war with the proliferation of reform groups like temperance leagues, religious movements and antislavery organizations. But regardless of when the movement actually begins, periods of time between Reconstruction, Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement offer moments of missed opportunities for the movement and the nation.

In this episode of Sisterhood: South Carolina Suffragists, University of South Carolina Professor and author Dr. Valinda Littlefield talks about how the divides between White and Black women shaped the women's suffrage movement.

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, South Carolina Public Radio  and South Carolina ETV are broadcasting the series SISTERHOOD: SOUTH CAROLINA SUFFRAGISTS to look at how local women played roles in a national movement that eventually guaranteed more than 26 million women the right to vote.