Sku: C102CWD

Mary Church Terrell (Sept 23, 1863 – July 24, 1954) articulated the needs of the African American community for over six decades and represented the deep support for women’s rights among women of color. She had a privileged upbringing in Memphis as the daughter of the first African American millionaire in the South. Brilliant and multilingual, she was 33 when she became president of the new National Association of Colored Women (NACW)
in 1896, helping to build it into the premier African American women’s organization in the country.

With the resolve and skills of a diplomat, Mary repeatedly challenged white suffragists not to abandon their African American sisters, addressing the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) convention in 1898. Twenty years later she picketed the White House demanding the vote. She was also active in the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). After the 1920 victory Mary said, “We women have now a weapon of defense which we have never possessed. It will be a shame and reproach to us if we do not use it.”

(Adapted from the remarkable book Winning the Vote, available from SCW)