The Untold Story of Women of Color in the League of Women Voters

The Untold Story of Women of Color in the League of Women Voters

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Overview

The Untold Story of Women of Color in the League of Women Voters explores ways in which these women have been marginalized and recognizes how their contributions will positively influence the organization as it moves into its next 100 years.

On February 14, 2020, the League of Women Voters of the United States will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its founding. Although women of color have always made significant contributions to women's suffrage and the women's movements, their contributions, particularly as they relate to the League of Women Voters (LWV), have been marginalized and relegated to the footnotes of the organization's history. The Untold Story of Women of Color in the League of Women Voters adds a new dimension to these conversations.

The book is structured to show the progression of the relationship between the League of Women Voters and its members of color as manifested in changes to its policies, practices, symbols, and messaging. It begins with the suffrage movement and continues until the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the League and uses actual correspondence, convention minutes, existing League histories, and personal accounts to tell the League story. Chapter titles disclose the philosophical shifts in attitude at each stage of the organization's evolution.


  • Celebrates the 100-year history of the League of Women Voters and the contributions of women of color
  • Provides an accurate, comprehensive account of history in this grassroots membership organization
  • Explores the unique challenges that women of color faced in the United States and in its mainstream organizations
  • Argues that the League must learn from the past and make intentional decisions to change for the future to remain relevant in the next phase of its history

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781440874499
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 02/24/2020
Pages: 264
Sales rank: 351,458
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins, PhD, is adjunct assistant professor in the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Table of Contents

Foreword Gratia Hillman ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction: More Than a Footnote 1

Chapter 1 Lest We Forget 15

Chapter 2 To "Finish the Fight" 36

Chapter 3 For the Sake of the Cause 53

Chapter 4 The Lessons of the Hour 88

Chapter 5 Through Amber-Colored Glasses 116

Chapter 6 The League Way 155

Chapter 7 The Weight of History 182

Epilogue: Moving Forward-The Unfinished Fight 213

Appendices 223

Bibliography 231

Index 241

What People are Saying About This

Chris Carson

"As the only existing organization to come out of the fight for U.S. suffrage, the League of Women Voters has a beautiful, inspiring, rich history that should be celebrated. For too long, that history has been incomplete—leaving out the stories of women of color who fought prejudice both outside and within the organization. Now, under the guiding hand of Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins, who as the first African American president of the League of Women Voters has a front seat to our history, we have the whole story."

Beth Pitton-August

"Dr. Jefferson-Jenkins shows that no institution in the U.S. – not even an "every woman's organization" like the League of Women Voters – is immune to the complicated history of race. By sharing the untold stories of women of color who have shaped the organization, including the unvarnished truth about their experiences, she helps point the way toward a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive League of Women Voters and society. At the centennial of the 19th amendment, by reckoning with the difficult past, we can forge a better future for all of us, together."

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