Progressivism was geared towards responding to the unequal distribution of power in the US. Under progressivism during the 1900s, the women’s suffrage movement largely ignored the plight of African American women. During the movement, one of the members said that giving white women the votes would ensure “white supremacy (750).” Thus the movement was ineffective in promoting any civil rights for black women. Despite the fact that Black and White women were eventually given the right to vote legally; government officials failed to address the racially discriminatory practices that prevented them from registering to vote and that led to Blacks’ disenfranchisement. Finally, the text did not mention Black women’s efforts in the women’s suffrage Movement.
Many examples are used to show how the progressive movement excluded African Americans or nonwhites for that manner. One was the behavior of the authoritative government officials. President Woodrow Wilson was apathetic to the oppression and hardships of African Americans. The text states that he “detested the enfranchisement of blacks.” That the Anglo-Saxon race would always resist being dominated by nonwhites. The text uses an example of him stating that nonwhites were of an “inferior and ignorant (747)” race. Wilson did not go out of his way to associate himself with African American leaders and did not express any form of support for them. When the black community asked Wilson to create a National Race Commission and he declined; it was a heartfelt blow to them. This was made worst by him being appointed to a cabinet of blatant Southerner racists. It did not end when Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan was behind the segregation of schools, dining facilities, restrooms and water fountains.
Perhaps there were unsuccessful attempts of African American women organizations that were similar to that of the Women’s Suffrage Movement that operated under the shadows or in segregated units. If Black females had more opportunities they probably would have been mentioned in the text. Alice Paul who co-founded the National American Women’s Suffrage Association, protested on the lawn of the White House, and for 6 months rallied on the sidewalks for women’s rights to vote. Paul and her followers were sentenced to jail and retaliated with a hunger strike. Officials forced a tube down their nose for them to eat. Given what we know of the time period, Black women might not have been on the White house lawn. They did not have has much opportunities has white women. White Women had more rights then what they reckoned for compared to Black women. When some of the women of the movement insisted that “women were morally superior to men (749),” as the text stated. They were likely talking about Anglo-Saxon women.
When the 19th amendment was passed in 1920, it legally gave both black and white women the right to vote. However, the effects of the 19th amendment did not give African American an equal representation as white women in political affairs. Discriminatory and segregation policies disenfranchised black women in the South from voting as effectively as compared white women. States apparently would have exercised laws that disenfranchise black women from proximity to the US’ political landscape. The WCTU blasted drinking and smoking effects on white boys and girls but excluded the likely effects of white male drinking on African American livelihood. This means that white male violence towards black men and women alike may have increased as a result of drinking alcohol.
Overall readers are denied details of black women’s efforts during the Women’s Suffrage movement. Though the text stated that most suffrage movement excluded African American Women, it can be inferred that the movement would have substantially interested African American women. Providing this information is significant because it would give readers a broader view of US history. Readers are eluded info on how this movement influenced Black Women. Also how Black Women influenced the Women’s Suffrage Movement itself.