KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — As we commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the Women’s Right to Vote during this year’s Black History Month, a local group is highlighting the fact that African-American women played an important role in the voting effort.
It was Aug. 18, 1920 when the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, giving American women the right to vote. Later that year, on Nov. 2, more than 8 million women in our country voted in elections for the first time.
The local “I AM the Voice of the Voiceless” group wants our community to know about an overlooked part of history.
“From the very beginning — from Harriet Tubman, who was a slave, to major suffragette activists, there were black women who were millionaires, abolitionists, educators… who used their influence, they used their money, they used their time, they suffered,” said Executive Director Vivian Shipe. “They fought for the rights for all women to be able to have that right to vote.”
Knox County Commissioner Evelyn Gill adds, “it not only gave women the right to vote, it gave women a voice in government.”
The “I AM the Voice of the Voiceless” organization is planning an event to honor what it’s calling “The Shades of The Suffrage Movement.”
The event is described as “a creative expression and live performance showcase celebrating the overlooked contributions of African-American women to the suffrage movement.” It’s happening Saturday, Feb. 29 from 2 – 5 p.m. at the Public Works Building on Morris Avenue in Knoxville.
They’re looking for people to take part by doing re-enactments, dance, and essays.
Sponsors are needed as well.
To learn more, contact:
I AM the Voice of the Voiceless
3615 Martin Luther King Drive
Knoxville, TN 37914