Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All
Why You Should Read This Book
Now more than ever, let's reflect on the importance of voting, and the political power that Black women hold in this country. Vanguard details that journey, and gives the reader an in-depth look at the lives and actions of many trailblazing Black women. If you're looking for inspiration to push forward in the current political climate—this is the book for you.
About the Book
In the standard story, the suffrage crusade began in Seneca Falls in 1848 and ended with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. But this overwhelmingly white women’s movement did not win the vote for most Black women. Securing their rights required a movement of their own.
In Vanguard, acclaimed historian Martha S. Jones offers a new history of African American women’s political lives in America. She recounts how they defied both racism and sexism to fight for the ballot, and how they wielded political power to secure the equality and dignity of all persons. From the earliest days of the republic to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and beyond, Jones excavates the lives and work of Black women — Maria Stewart, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Fannie Lou Hamer, and more — who were the vanguard of women’s rights, calling on America to realize its best ideals.
About the Author
Professor Martha S. Jones is the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History at The Johns Hopkins University. She is a legal and cultural historian whose work examines how Black Americans have shaped the story of American democracy.
Professor Jones is the author of Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All (2020) and Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America (2018), winner of the Organization of American Historians Liberty Legacy Award for the best book in civil rights history, the American Historical Association Littleton-Griswold Prize for the best book in American legal history, and the American Society for Legal History John Phillip Reid book award for the best book in Anglo-American legal history. Professor Jones is also author of All Bound Up Together: The Woman Question in African American Public Culture 1830-1900 (2007) and a coeditor of Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women (University of North Carolina Press (2015), together with many important articles and essay.
Professor Jones is a public historian, frequently writing for broader audiences at the Washington Post, the Atlantic, USA Today, Public Books, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Time, the curatorship of museum exhibitions including “Reframing the Color Line” and “Proclaiming Emancipation” in conjunction with the William L. Clements Library, and museum, film and video productions with the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, the Charles Wright Museum of African American History, PBS, The American Experience, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Netflix, and Arte (France.)
Professor Jones holds a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University and a J.D. from the CUNY School of Law. Prior to the start of her academic career, she was a public interest litigator in New York City, recognized for her work a Charles H. Revson Fellow on the Future of the City of New York at Columbia University.
Professor Jones currently serves as a Co-president of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, and on the Executive Board of the Society of American Historians.
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