Reflect: Key People, Connections and Discussion Questions

This page is about reflection. You’ll find a list of some of the key people and organizations relevant to this section. You’ll also find a section called intersectionality to encourage thinking about how different issues are connected, and discussion questions to encourage deeper thinking. Take some time to answer the questions, look these people up and learn more about their stories.

The content on this site is not complete: there are countless numbers of people and so many stories — from small acts of defiance to major leadership positions — that didn’t get recorded or that don’t often make it into textbooks.

This website is meant to be grown and improved upon. We’ve included some of the heroes, but if you know people we are missing, let us know so we can include their stories too.

Key People & Groups

  • Ida B. Wells-Barnett (Alpha Suffrage Club)
  • Elizabeth Piper Ensley (Colorado State Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs)
  • Eva Carter Buckner (Colorado State Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs)
  • Mary Jackson (Alpha Suffrage Club)
  • Mrs. J. P. Young (Colorado State Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs)
  • Viola Hill (Alpha Suffrage Club)
  • Mrs. R. Jerome Jeffrey (New York Federation of Colored Women)
  • Ella Hawley Crossett (New York State Woman Suffrage Association)
  • Mrs. Henry Villard (NAACP)
  • Dr. Mary Halton (Woman Suffrage Party)
  • Portia Willis (Woman Suffrage Party)
  • Lydia D. Newman (Woman Suffrage Party)
  • Carrie Catt
  • Alice Paul
  • Lucy Burns
  • Anna Simms Banks
  • Inez Milholland
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
  • Alpha Suffrage Club
  • National Women’s Party
  • Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association
  • National American Woman Suffrage Association
  • Woodrow Wilson
  • Political Equality Association

Intersectionality

It is important to remember that although there were many groups working towards suffrage at the time, they were not necessarily unified in thinking and strategy.

In particular, class often played a huge role in group membership and strategy. If you were a woman of lower socioeconomic status, promotional strategies such as parades in new cars (which was used in Minnesota among other states) were not as effective or even available.

Also, while white women gained ground in state and federal rights to vote and full citizenship, other groups of women such as American Indians didn’t gain the right to vote until 1924 (Indian Citizenship Act).

Remember that class, race and gender played a significant role in how you viewed the world and how the world viewed you. This positionality your “position” in social structures based on identities such as race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexual orientation, etc. impacts the way you are able to move in society.

Discussion Questions: 
Alice Paul quietly asked Black women to not participate in the Woman Suffrage Parade of 1913 because racial tensions were really high in D.C. at the time, and she was getting a lot of pressure to keep it segregated. If you could go back in time and talk to Paul before the parade, what would you say to her?
What forms of protest do you think should be used to achieve goals like the right to vote? How about other political goals?
After the 19th Amendment was ratified, what happened to the “sympathetic white suffragists” who put the needs of Black women on hold to win the vote for women?
Why do you think more women haven’t served in elective office in the nearly 100 years since the passage of the 19th Amendment? What were/are the factors at play?
What do you think your life would be like today if you knew that when you turned 18 you would not have the freedom to cast a ballot because of your gender? Why is this important?