Voting Rights

"The Awakening" illustration of a torch-bearing woman striding across the Western states

Voting Rights Celebration:
19th Amendment to Voter Inclusion in 2020

Join the Marin County Free Library as we celebrate the ongoing struggle for Universal Voting Rights, Voter Inclusion and the Centennial of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, though many remained disenfranchised.

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
(19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution)

Photo of Elizabeth Thacher Kent
Suffrage Leader Elizabeth Thacher Kent

By Laurie Thompson

2020 marks the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote. Elizabeth Thacher Kent stands out among the Suffrage leaders with ties to Marin. Her entrance into the suffrage movement made local and national headlines.

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The 19th Amendment:
A Woman’s Right to Vote

Suffrage Leader Mary Church Terrell

Mary Church Terrell

“…. how can any one who is able to use reason, and who believes in dealing out justice to all God’s creatures, think it is right to withhold from one-half the human race rights and privileges freely accorded to the other half, which is neither more deserving nor more capable of exercising them?”

– Mary Church Terrell, influential African American educator and national activist for civil rights and women’s suffrage

Read the full speech

Further Reading

Timeline of Women’s Suffrage Movement in the U.S. [pdf]

1911 California Women Suffrage Centennial (California Secretary of State)

Between Two Worlds: Black Women and the Fight for Voting Rights (National Park Service)

African American Women and the Nineteenth Amendment (National Park Service)

Black Women & The Suffrage Movement: 1848-1923