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

Clara Ueland

Clara Ueland
Clara Ueland
  • Abby Kelley Foster
  • Amelia Shadd
  • Caroline Remond Putnam
  • Charles Remond
  • Charlotta (Lottie) Rollin
  • Charlotte E. Ray
  • Charlotte Forten
  • Clara Ueland
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton
  • Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
  • Fanny Jackson Coppin
  • Frances Rollin Whipper
  • Harriet (Hattie) Purvis, Jr.
  • Harriet Forten Purvis
  • Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin

Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin

Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin
Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin
  • Louisa Rollin
  • Lucretia Mott
  • Lucy Stone
  • Margaretta Forten
  • Mary Ann Shadd Cary
  • Mrs. K. Harris
  • Nancy Prince
  • Naomi Talbert Anderson
  • Sarah Forten
  • Sojourner Truth
  • Susan B. Anthony
  • American Equal Rights Association
  • American Woman Suffrage Association
  • Everywoman Suffrage Club (Minnesota)
  • Interracial Philadelphia Suffrage Association
  • National Woman Suffrage Association

Intersectionality

Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s perspective on white women’s rights over Black rights wasn’t exactly unique. Her way of thinking was referred to by biographer Elisabeth Griffith as “the metaphor of bondage,” which means that Stanton considered the experience of a housewife to be comparable to the experience of a slave. Though Stanton experienced gender-based prejudice, and while many white women experienced considerable oppression within their marriages, her inability to see the difference is an example of a person not understanding intersectionality (or intersectional theory) is the study of overlapping or intersecting social identities and related systems of oppression, domination or discrimination(as a concept, this language was not used at that time).

Black women were experiencing added layers of oppression because of race, but in the suffrage movement they were pushed to choose between two of their core identities (gender and race). Inclusive movements have strategies that address intersecting needs rather than picking one and leaving the others behind.

Since affluent and middle-class white women had more relative power the amount of power a person or group has in relation to, or compared to, another person or group than Black women, stances like Stanton’s significantly impacted the movement.

Discussion Questions: 
How would you define intersectionality? In what ways do you think class or socioeconomics also impacted who was included in the movement?
Discuss the concept of relative power; how did that come into play during the early years of the women’s suffrage movement? How do you think people with different needs can work together toward a shared goal?
There were a number of affluent, white suffragists and their allies who proposed a women’s suffrage amendment that would grant voting rights only to women who could read and write English, which they called “educated suffrage”. Why do you think they would propose that? Who do you think would have been left out?