Did you know the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees all women the right to vote, was ratified 100 years ago today? It was! According to the National Archives, "Achieving this milestone required a lengthy and difficult struggle; victory took decades of agitation. Beginning in the mid-19th century, woman suffrage supporters lectured, wrote, marched, lobbied, and practiced civil disobedience to achieve what many Americans considered radical change."
However, as the article Women's Suffrage: Key Moments in History notes, "...in reality, the 19th Amendment largely gave voting rights to White women. Jim Crow policies preventing Black Americans from voting also kept many Black women from the polls for decades. And other laws barred Native Americans and Asian immigrants from even getting citizenship for years after the 19th Amendment passed."
It is especially poignant to remember and respect this long fight for the right to vote during a year when women across America have the chance to make every vote count in a hotly contested presidential election, not to mention many very meaningful races down ballot.
Make sure that, no matter your gender, you are registered to vote this November! The deadline to register is October 1, so be sure to get it done. You can pick up a voter registration card at any BiblioTech Branch. You can also request a registration card online or call 210-335-VOTE to request a registration card. Not sure if you're registered to vote or not? You can do a quick check here!
Looking for more resources on voting rights or women's history? Check out something from our amazing digital library today! Suggestions:
- On BiblioBoard, this Legends of History: American Women collection features pictures, books and videos about women who pioneered changes in medicine, politics and other important fields; while Women Suffragists of the U.S. and U.K. includes a teaching guide along with resources.
- On cloudLibrary, you can read She Votes: How US Women Won Suffrage, and What Happened Next or, for younger readers, we have both the ebook and audiobook versions of Stolen Justice: The Struggle for African American Voting Rights and several other voting rights books.
- On Hoopla, find an entire suffrage collection with something for all ages, as well as a well done graphic novel about a British voting rights advocate, Sally Heathcote, Suffragette.
- For a look at local remembrances of the 100-year anniversary of women's suffrage, check out this article from the San Antonio Express-News.