People with marginalized identities were often excluded from the women’s suffrage movement. After the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920, women of color were often kept from the polls. African American women faced racial discrimination and were discouraged from voting through intimidation and fear.
Native American women were not considered US citizens until 1924. Other women could vote after 1920, yet Native American women had to wait another four years until granted citizenship.
Women living in the US territories faced similar challenges. The people of American Samoa, for example, cannot take part in national elections due to their status. Those born in American Samoa are considered US nationals, not citizens. As a result, they do not share the same suffrage rights as people born in the continental US.
The struggle of these women reveals the complexity of the quest for suffrage then and now.
Series: Essays: Overview of Women's Suffrage
Last updated: August 15, 2019