Sojourner Truth (Courtesy of National Women's History Museum)
Sojourner Truth (Courtesy of National Women's History Museum)

This is part of an ongoing Washington Informer series about the Women’s Suffrage Movement and an initiative that includes Informer Publisher Denise Rolark Barnes that will use the lens of history, the fabric of art and culture and the venue of the public square to shine a light into dark places, equipping all with a compass to chart the way forward. The initiative lives in the institutional home of the Washington Informer Charities.

On Nov. 5, 1872, Susan B. Anthony cast a ballot in the presidential election, though women at the time were prohibited from doing so.

Two weeks later, she was arrested, and the following year, she was found guilty of illegal voting. It would take another 50 years until the 19th Amendment, passed in 1920, would grant women nationwide the right to vote.

Each election, a pilgrimage to Rochester, New York, takes place where individuals from around the country place an “I Voted” sticker on Anthony’s grave.

But, as widely documented, the women’s suffrage movement was fought courageously by women of color. To highlight that, Bustle listed other women whose graves deserve similar honor.

Among them is Sojourner Truth. Born into slavery, the Black women suffragist escaped with her baby in 1826. Two years later, she sued her former slave owner for custody of her son and won, becoming the first Black woman to win such a case against a white man.

Truth, of course, is most famous for her speech “Ain’t I a Woman?” In it, she argued for equal rights of women and African Americans.

The online magazine also lists Mary Church Terrell as another Black woman suffragist deserving of an “I Voted” sticker.

Terrell was one of the first Black women to earn a college degree, and she was a founding member of the NAACP. She was the first African American woman elected to a board of education position, serving the District of Columbia from 1895 to 1905.

She also became a member of the National American Women Suffrage Association, concerned with the association’s continued fight for African American women’s right to vote.

Ida B. Wells and Daisy Lampkin were also among those Bustle nominated for an “I Voted” sticker.

Wells, a journalist, suffragist and civil rights activist, was born into slavery in Mississippi in 1862. She gained notoriety as an investigative journalist, shedding light on lynchings as a form of control and intimidation in the South, was a founding member of the NAACP and the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs, and fought for the inclusion of African American women and the address of race-related issues in the suffragette movement.

Lampkin was the first woman elected to the national board of the NAACP. She was an outspoken intersectional feminist and suffragist, according to Bustle.

Shortly after graduating from high school, Lampkin became a motivational speaker for housewives, organizing women into protest groups while becoming an active member of the Lucy Stone Women’s Suffrage League and the National Suffrage League.

“Aware of the specific challenges faced by African American women, Lampkin also became deeply involved with the National Association for Colored Women (NACW), and ultimately became its national organizer,” Bustle writers noted. “Later in life, she became vice-chair for both the Colored Voters Division of the Republican Party and the Negro Voters League of Pennsylvania.”

This article includes information from National Geographic and Bustle.

Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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