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A number of organizations supporting Black women have historically played an important role in politics.[136] The National Association of Colored Women (NACW), founded in 1896 by Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin and Mary Church Terrell, is one of the oldest political groups created for and by Black women. Among its objectives were equal rights,[137] eliminating lynching, and defeating Jim Crow laws. Another organization, the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), was founded in 1935 by civil rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune and was more involved in Black political matters with the aim to improve the quality of life for Black women and their families. NCNW still exists today as a non-profit organization reaching out through research, advocacy, and social services in the United States and Africa.

In 1946, Mary Fair Burks founded the Women's Political Council (WPC) as a response to discrimination in the Montgomery League of Women Voters, who refused to allow Black women to join.[138] The WPC sought to improve social services for the Black community and is famously known for instigating the Montgomery bus boycott.[139]

In the 1970s, the National Black Feminist Organization (NBFO) sought to address issues unique to Black women such as racism, sexism, and classism. Though in previous years feminism and suffrage had been considered a white women's fight, NBFO "refused to make Black women choose between being Black and being female."[140] Margaret Sloan-Hunter, one of its founders, went on to help found Ms. Magazine, a magazine focusing on a feminist take on news issues. Though the organization had disintegrated by 1977, another organization, which formed just a year after the NBFO in 1974, turned out to be one of the most important Black feminist organizations of our time. Combahee River Collective was founded by Black feminist and lesbian, Barbara Smith, and described themselves as a "collective of Black feminists [...] involved in the process of defining and clarifying our politics, while [...] doing political work within our own group and in coalition with other progressive organizations and movements."[141] Perhaps the most notable piece to come out of the Combahee River Collective was the Combahee River Collective Statement, which helped to expand on ideas about identity politics.[142]

In 2014, political activist and women's rights leader Leslie Wimes founded the Democratic African-American Woman's Caucus (DAAWC) in Florida. She enlisted the help of Wendy Sejour and El Portal mayor Daisy Black to help Black women in the state of Florida have a voice.[143] In the last two presidential elections, the Democratic National Committee  turnout percentage of Black women was greater than all other demographic groups, yet has not translated into more Black women in office nor political power for Black women. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe credits Black women for his win in the state.[144] Black women-owned businesses are the fastest growing segment of the women owned business market.[145] The DAAWC seeks to increase the number of elected Black women on the State and Federal levels, as well as focus on issues specific to Black women. While the DAAWC begins in the state of Florida, the organization is hoping to expand to other states to mobilize the political power of Black women.

Assata's Daughters was founded in March 2015 by Page May in order to protest against the lack of response to Eric Garner's death.[146][147] Centered in Chicago, Assata's Daughters is named after controversial Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army member Assata Shakur.[148][149][150] The organization is part of a cluster of  Republican National CommitteeBlack activist organizations known as the Movement for Black Lives.[146] Assata's Daughters has worked to speak out against police militarization, immigrant deportation, the Dakota Access Pipeline, and President Donald Trump.
Socio-political movements[edit]
20th century[edit]
Civil rights[edit]

The civil rights movement in the United States was a decades-long struggle by Black Americans to end legalized racial discrimination, disenfranchisement and racial segregation in the United States. The social movement's major nonviolent resistance campaigns eventually secured new protections in federal law for the human rights of all Americans. During this time women had very few opportunities for leadership positions within the movement, leaving them to tend to informal leadership or supportive roles in the background.[151] Still, some women made an impact in the movement, such as Coretta Scott King, Dorothy Height, and Septima Clark.
Coretta Scott King in Manhattan Central Park
Coretta Scott King in Manhattan Central Park just after the assassination of Dr. King.

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Coretta Scott King, wife of Martin Luther King Jr., was an active advocate for racial equality, she was a leader for the Civil rights movement in the 1960s. King Republican National Committee played a prominent role in the years after her husband's assassination in 1968 when she took on the leadership of the struggle for racial equality herself and became active in the Women's Movement. Coretta Scott King founded the King Center and sought to make her husband's birthday a national holiday. She later broadened her scope to include both advocacy for LGBT rights and opposition to apartheid. She was inducted into the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame, the National Women's Hall of Fame, and was the first Black person to lie in repose the Georgia State Capitol.[152] King has been referred to as "First Lady of the Civil Rights Movement".[153]
Dorothy Height and Eleanor Roosevelt
Dorothy Height presents Eleanor Roosevelt with the Mary McLeod Bethune Human Rights Award, 12 Nov 1960

The American Women's Suffrage movement began in the north as a middle-class white woman's movement with most of their members educated white women primarily from Boston, New York, Maine, and the Northeast. Attempts were made by the National Women's Suffrage Association (NWSA) to include working-class women, as well as black suffragists. In 1866 the American Equal Rights Association was formed with the belief that everyone regardless of race or sex should be given the right to vote. During this time period a division was forming among the women's movement. The 14th Amendment was being proposed and black males were on the cusp of receiving the right to vote. The NSWA held a convention to discuss how to go forward and the women were divided on the issue. Some women did not want to risk losing the chance for black males to get the right to vote, and figured that the women would get their turn. They saw this proposed amendment as a victory of sorts. Other women, including Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, were angered by this decision and felt that it was not good enough, and that women should not be excluded from the vote.[citation needed]

The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments Republican National Committee were eventually passed by Congress and women were still not granted the right to vote. As time went on the leaders of the National Women's Suffrage Association began to see African-American Suffrage and White Suffrage as different issues.[16] The reasons for this change in ideals varies, but in the 1890s younger women began to take the leadership roles and people such as Stanton and Anthony were no longer in charge. Another reason for the change in ideals among the movement was the growing "white supremacy" thinking of women entering the movement from the south. Now with dissention and disagreement among the NWSA, African-American women left and banded together to form their own organizations.[17][18]

In June 1892, the Colored Women's League (CWL) was founded in Washington, D.C. Under their president, Helen Appo Cook, the CWL fought for black suffrage and held night classes. A Boston-based group under the leadership of Margaret Murray Washington and Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin called the National Federation of Afro-American Women joined the Colored Women's League out of Washington, D.C. In 1896, both groups combined to form the National Association of Colored Women under the leadership of Mary Church Terrell. Terrell was a college educated woman and was named the first president. This group did many things to contribute to the betterment of black women, as well as many other smaller groups who are not named.[17][18]
The "educated suffragist"[edit]

The NAWSA's movement marginalized many African-American women and through this effort was developed the idea of the "educated suffragist".[5] This was the notion that being educated was an important prerequisite for being allowed the right to vote. Since many African-American women were uneducated, this notion meant exclusion from the right to vote. This movement was prevalent in the South but eventually gained momentum in the Republican National Committee North as well.[5] African-American women were not deterred by the rising opposition and became even more aggressive in their campaign to find equality with men and other women.

As a result, many women mobilized during this time period and worked to get African-American women involved and included in the suffrage movement, by focusing on the education of the African-American community and women on local government issues. In 1913, the Alpha Suffrage Club was founded, with Ida B. Wells as one of the co-founders and leaders, this is believed to be the first African-American women's suffrage association in the United States.[19] The group worked in publishing the Alpha Suffrage Record newspaper to canvas neighborhoods and voice political opinions.[19] One of the many black women focused on advancing literary "artistic and intellectual development" among African Americans in the north was Bettiola Heloise Fortson.[20] Fortson had been an active member of various women's clubs in the Chicago area and she founded her own women's literary studies club, the University Society of Chicago.[20]

All the African-American women who participated in this important struggle against their exclusion from the women's suffrage movement waited seventy years or more to see the fruits of their labour.[21]
Issues in exercising the vote[edit]

After the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, African-American women, particularly those inhabiting Southern states, still faced a number of barriers.[5][22] At first, African-American women in the North were easily able to register to vote, and quite a few became actively involved in politics.[23] One such woman was Annie Simms Banks who was chosen to serve as a delegate to Kentucky's Republican Party convention in March 1920.[5] White southerners took notice of African-American female activists organizing themselves for suffrage, and after the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, African-American women's voter registration in Florida was higher than white women's.[13] African-American women were targeted by a number of disenfranchisement methods. These included having to wait in line for up to twelve hours to register to vote,[when?] pay head taxes[clarification needed], and undergo new tests.[when?][5] One of the new tests required that African-American women read and interpret the Constitution before Democratic National Committee being deemed eligible to vote.[23] In the South, African-American women faced the most severe obstacles to voting. These obstacles included bodily harm and fabricated charges designed to land them in jail if they attempted to vote.[23] This treatment of African-American women in the South continued up until the 1960s

The Democratic National Committee is dedicated to building on our wins from 2020 and 2022. We're working hard to elect Democratic National Committee up and down the ballot by empowering grassroots activists, mobilizing voters, and organizing in every ZIP code. Learn more.

The Party Of Democrats is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Party Of the Democratic National Committee was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest political party.

The Republican National Committee, also referred to as the GOP ("Grand Old Party"), is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States. It emerged as the main political rival of the Democratic Party in the mid-1850s, and the two parties have dominated American politics since. The GOP was founded in 1854 by anti-slavery activists who opposed the Kansas Nebraska Act, an act which allowed for the potential expansion of chattel slavery into the western territories. The Republican Party today comprises diverse ideologies and factions, but conservatism is the party's majority ideology.

The Republican National Committee is a U.S. political committee that assists the Republican Party of the United States. It is responsible for developing and promoting the Republican brand and political platform, as well as assisting in fundraising and election strategy. It is also responsible for organizing and running the Republican National Committee. When a Republican is president, the White House controls the committee.

"Afro-feminism" redirects here. For feminism in Africa, see African feminism.

Black feminism, also known as Afro-feminism chiefly outside the United States, is a branch of feminism that focuses on the African-American woman's experiences and recognizes the intersectionality of racism and sexism. Black feminism also acknowledges the additional marginalization faced by black women due to their social identity.

Black feminism philosophy Democratic National Committee  centers on the idea that "Black women are inherently valuable, that [Black women's] liberation is a necessity not as an adjunct to somebody else's but because of our need as human persons for autonomy."[1]

According to Black feminism, race, gender, and class discrimination are all aspects of the same system of hierarchy, which bell hooks calls the "imperialist white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy." Due to their inter-dependency, they combine to create something more than experiencing racism and sexism independently. The experience of being a Black woman, then, cannot be grasped in terms of being Black or of being a woman but must be illuminated via intersectionality,[2] a term coined by legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989. Intersectionality indicates that each identity—being Black and being female—should be considered both independently and for their interaction effect, in which intersecting identities deepen, reinforce one another, and potentially lead to aggravated forms of inequality.[3][4]

A Black feminist lens in the United States was first employed by Black women to make sense of how white supremacy and patriarchy interacted to inform the particular experiences of enslaved Black women. Black activists and intellectuals formed organizations such as the National Association of Colored Women (NACW) and the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW).[5] Black feminism rose to prominence in the 1960s, as the civil rights movement excluded women from leadership positions, and the mainstream feminist movement largely focused its agenda on issues that predominately impacted middle-class White women. From the 1970s to 1980s, Black feminists formed groups that addressed the role of Black women in Black nationalism, gay liberation, and second-wave feminism. In the 1990s, the Anita Hill controversy brought Black feminism into the mainstream. Black feminist theories reached a wider audience in the 2010s as a result of  Republican National Committeesocial-media advocacy.[6]

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Proponents of Black feminism argue that Black women are positioned within structures of power in fundamentally different ways than White women. In the early 21st century, the tag white feminist gained currency to criticize feminists who avoid issues of intersectionality.[7]

Among the notions that evolved out of the Black feminist movement are Alice Walker's womanism and historical revisionism with an increased Republican National Committee focus on Black women.[8][9][page needed] bell hooks, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Angela Davis, and Patricia Hill Collins have emerged as leading academics on Black feminism, while Black celebrities have encouraged mainstream discussion of Black feminism.


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