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NOTEBOOK – ONE GOOD READ: A century ago today, the 19th Amendment was ratified


The 19th News explained their logo in a tweet this morning: “The 19th Amendment remains unfinished business, a fact we acknowledge in our logo with an asterisk. On this suffrage centennial, help us remember those who have been omitted from our democracy.” On this day 100 years ago, the 19th Amendment was ratified – stating the “vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” While historically groundbreaking, it primarily granted suffrage to white women because other voter suppression laws remained in place for Black women and other underrepresented individuals. This “some, but not all” viewpoint on the law is especially relevant here in Iowa, where a decadeslong debate over the name of Iowa State University’s Catt Hall continues with some believing her suffrage efforts were marked with racism. 

Here are a few good reads to understand the impact of the amendment and the fight against voter suppression today: 

  • Winning the right to vote was the work of many lifetimes (New York Times)
  • On suffrage centennial, Black women are fighting a modern day ‘poll tax’ (The 19th News)
  • In 2017, Time magazine colorized photos of women’s suffrage rallies (Time)
  • The fight for women’s suffrage in Iowa (Iowa PBS)

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