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Seneca Falls Convention, July 1848

Now, in view of this entire disfranchisement of one-half the people of this country, their social and religious degradation, – in view of the unjust laws above mentioned, and because women do feel themselves aggrieved, oppressed, and fraudulently deprived of their most sacred rights, we insist that they have immediate admission to all the rights and privileges which belong to them as citizens of these United States.

In entering upon the great work before us, we anticipate no small amount of misconception, misrepresentation, and ridicule; but we shall use every instrumentality within our power to effect our object. We shall employ agents, circulate tracts, petition the State and national Legislatures, and endeavor to enlist the pulpit and the press in our behalf. We hope this Convention will be followed by a series of Conventions, embracing every part of the country.Continue Reading »

Declaration of Sentiments – July 1848

In 1848, a convention to discuss the social, civil, and religious conditions and rights of women was convened in Seneca Falls, New York. The convention was organized and run by women who later became influential in the women’s suffrage movement. In the Declaration of Sentiments, the organizers demanded government reform and changes in male roles and behaviors that promoted inequality for women.Continue Reading »

Solitude of Self: An Address by E.C. Stanton January, 1892

Shakespeare’s play of Titus and Andronicus contains a terrible satire on woman’s position in the nineteenth century–“Rude men” (the play tells us) “seized the king’s daughter, cut out her tongue, cut off her hands, and then bade her go call for water and wash her hands.” What a picture of woman’s position. Robbed of her natural rights, handicapped by law and custom at every turn, yet compelled to fight her own battles, and in the emergencies of life to fall back on herself for protection.Continue Reading »

One Hundred Years toward Suffrage: An Overview

Suffrage is the right or privilege of voting and is frequently incorporated among the rights of citizenship. However, just as not all people in the United States are necessarily granted the privilege of citizenship, not all U.S. citizens have been uniformly endowed with the right to vote. Given the property laws and economic status of citizens at that time, these restrictions meant that most women and persons of color could not vote, and only about “half of the adult white men in the United States were eligible to vote in 1787.”With so few rights, many women drew parallels between their social and political state and that of slaves. This entry notes the dates and events that eventually resulted in the 19th Amendment. Continue Reading »

Villard, Oswald Garrison

Oswald Garrison Villard (1872 – 1942): Civil Rights Activist and Editor of the The Nation and the New York Evening Post   Oswald Garrison Villard (1872–1949) was an American journalist, pacifist, and civil rights advocate.  The son of railroad tycoon Henry Villard and and suffragist Fanny Villard (the daughter of abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison) and… Continue Reading »

Oswald Villard, the NAACP and The Nation Journal

In 1909, when the founders of the NAACP needed help organizing their new civil rights group, they reached out to Oswald Garrison Villard, The Nation’s future editor and owner.Continue Reading »

Principles of The Universal Negro Improvement Association (Marcus Garvey, 1922)

We of the Universal Negro Improvement Association are determined to unite the 400,000,000 Negroes of the world to give expression to their own feeling; we are determined to unite the 400,000,000 Negroes of the world for the purpose of building a civilization of their own. And in that effort we desire to bring together the 15,000,000 of the United States, the 180,000,000 in Asia, the West Indies and Central and South America, and the 200,000,000 in Africa. We are looking toward political freedom on the continent of Africa, the land of our fathers.Continue Reading »

Garvey, Marcus

Marcus Mosiah Garvey (1887-1940), one of the most influential 20th Century black nationalist and Pan-Africanist leaders, was born on August 17, 1887 in St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica. Greatly influenced by Booker T. Washington’s autobiography Up From Slavery, Garvey began to support industrial education, economic separatism, and social segregation as strategies that would enable the assent of the “black race.” In 1914, Garvey established the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) in Kingston, Jamaica, adopting Washington’s inspirational phrase “Up, you mighty race; you can conquer what you will.” Continue Reading »

Springfield Race Riot of 1908

On the evening of August 14, 1908, a race war broke out in the Illinois capital of Springfield. Angry over reports that a black man had sexually assaulted a white woman, a white mob wanted to take a recently arrested suspect from the city jail and kill him….In the early hours of the violence, as many as five thousand white Springfield residents were present, mostly as spectators. Still angry, the rioters minus most of the spectators next methodically destroyed a small black business district downtown, breaking windows and doors, stealing or destroying merchandise, and wrecking furniture and equipment. The mob’s third and last effort that night was to destroy a nearby poor black neighborhood called the Badlands. Most blacks had fled the city, but as the mob swept through the area, they captured and lynched a black barber, Scott Burton, who had stayed behind to protect his home.Continue Reading »

William Lloyd Garrison, “On the Death of John Brown” (1859)

On December 2, 1859, John Brown was executed by Virginia authorities in Charles Town for his ill-fated raid on the federal armory at Harper’s Ferry. Soon after word of his death reached Boston, William Lloyd Garrison, the leading abolitionist in the United States at the time, gave this stirring tribute to Brown.Continue Reading »

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