African-American Women's Suffrage Bibliography

[Ed. Note: H-Women extends a grateful thank you to all the information so graciously provided by Dr. Leslie Brown, Dept. of History, U of Missouri, St. Louis.]

Query From Angela Boswell 16 Sept 1998

I have a MLA graduate student who is working on a project on African-American women in the suffrage movement. She has collected a variety of newspaper articles for use as primary sources and many secondary sources.

However, she would very much like to find an important primary source other than news articles. Are there any published collections of papers concerning African-American women, either personal papers or organization's papers? We have culled the main monographs and histories of the woman suffrage movement and have found only references to papers in archives. Thank you in advance for your assistance.


Bethune, Mary McLeod papers are microfilmed

Gordon, Ann and Bettye Collier Thomas, Eds. _African American Women and the Vote, 1835-1965_ (Amherst, U of Massachusetts Press, 1997).

Hawkins Brown, Charlotte her papers circulate interlibrary loan from Radcliffe make reference to suffrage.

Hull, Gloria T., Ed. _Give Us This Day_ [The diary of Alice Nelson Dunbar]

League of Women Voter Papers
Includes correspondence between national and state officials and representatives of the black women's clubs.

Lerner, Gerda _Black Women in White America_

National Association of Colored Women's Clubs are on microfilm and should be on interlibrary loan. Same thing as [NAACP], but divided by administrations (Pres. of Assoc) and then by state within, as well as by topic; you'll need to search the same way.

National American Association of Colored People (NAACP) Their collection is huge, divided into series and then reels within series, often by geographic region as well as topic. You have to use the finding aids (some 25 books) and the indices to cross reference to the reels that have woman suffrage on them; but you might want to start with the series on voting rights.If your library does not have them, you can get at least the titles of each series' finding aids via on-line card catalogue and request those via interlibrary loans, and then request the appropriate reels. I think UM Columbia has the set.

National Negro Business League
Their records make reference to suffrage)

Salem, Dorothy _We Are Your Sisters_

Terborg-Penn, Rosalyn _African American Women in the Struggle For the Vote, 1850-1920_(Bloomington, 1998)

Terrell, Mary Church Her papers are on microfilm and should be available on interlibrary loan.

Wheeler, Marjorie Spruill, Ed. _Votes For Women: The Woman Suffrage Movement in Tennessee, the South, and the Nation_(Knoxville, (U of Tennessee Press, 1995)
Especially the article: "Adella Hunt Logan, The Tuskegee Woman's Club, and African Americans in the
Suffrage Movement" by Adella Logan Alexander (pp. 71-104), see also: "Colored Women as Voter," Same author.

Other Suggestions:

Look through black magazines and periodicals from that period. Crisis, the Colored American, Opportunity, and Voice of the Negro all carry articles and debates on woman suffrage. (UM St. Louis has these, bound.)

Check also women writers of the times: Fannie Barrier Williams, Anna Julia Cooper, Alice Dunbar Nelson, and Henry Louis Gates' series on black 19th century women writers.

Don't forget to search the H-Women website, particularly the site where manuscripts of famous women are located. The web sites include organizations as well as individuals.