Black Women Continuing The Fight For Voting Rights 101 Years After 19th Amendment Was Implemented

“Black women have been the backbone of the struggle for justice and equality for so long
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Photos: Twitter

Washington, D.C. — Today marks 101 years since the 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote in the United States. However in 2021, Black women nationwide are still fighting for the rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution.

Despite providing crucial organizing behind Democratic victories in 2020, Black women’s voting rights are under attack all over the country from Republican legislatures seeking to erect barriers to their votes, strip away representation, and invalidate local elections whose results they dislike.

Black women are leading the charge through the March On for Voting Rights on Saturday, August 28th, calling on the Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the For the People Act. Millions will join the march in D.C., Phoenix, Atlanta, Houston, Miami and more than 40 other cities across the country to make their voices heard. Marchers will also call for the Senate to remove the filibuster as a roadblock to critical voting rights legislation.

Arndrea Waters King, President of the Drum Major Institute, said:

“Black women have been the backbone of the struggle for justice and equality for so long, but too often we’ve gone unheard and unrecognized. I’m proud to be among the dedicated group of Black women organizing millions of Americans to demand that Congress act to defend our right to vote. We are calling on this country not only to guarantee our most fundamental right, but to acknowledge Black women’s role in calling this country to live up to its ideals. On August 28th, we’ll demand that our voices are heard.”

Yolanda Renee King, Youth Director of the Drum Major Institute, said:

“My grandmother, Coretta Scott King, said that freedom has to be earned and won in every generation. More than 100 years since women were granted the right to vote, my generation is ready to fight and win the freedom promised to us. Black women have been locked out of that promise for too long, and we can’t allow anyone to drag us backward. We sent new leaders to Congress and the White House, and we are marching to demand they deliver for us.”

Ebonie Riley, DC Bureau Chief of National Action Network’s Washington, DC Bureau, said:

"We often forget the independent struggle women of color have had to endure and the intersecting oppressions in the evolution of U.S. voting rights. Only now reaching the 101-year anniversary of the women’s right to vote puts into perspective how short a time has passed since more than half the population was not able to make a decision in democracy, but also how the timelines of the fight towards equality have been different for BIPOC women. This fight would be nowhere without the women, and our present-day push for equal rights encompasses every man and woman of all ethnicities to be heard in who represents them in government."

Andi Pringle, Political Director at March On, said:

"For decades, Black women have shown up for a democracy that has consistently worked to marginalize their voices and made it harder for them to vote. Even when the 19th Amendment was passed, too few of us were able to freely cast a ballot because of discriminatory laws designed to disenfranchise us—and today, we are rapidly moving backward to a time when Black and Brown women and all people of color are again being locked out of the ballot box. Every elected leader, from our state houses to the White House, should remember the power of Black women when we come together, and that power will be on full display when we march for our rights on August 28."

Stasha Rhodes, Campaign Manager of 51 for 51, said:

“Black women in Washington D.C. have never had the voice we deserve in government. We pay more in federal taxes than any other state, yet we have no voice in a Congress that makes decisions about our lives every day. Now our sisters across the country are under threat of having their access to the ballot blocked. Make no mistake, whether in the District or the deep South, stripping Black women of the vote and denying us full representation is racist, misogynistic and wrong. We will march on August 28th to demand that Congress pass the D.C. Admissions Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the For the People Act. And we will demand that the Senate remove the Jim Crow filibuster as a roadblock to our rights.”

For more information on the march, please contact media@wearemarchon.org or visit https://marchonforvotingrights.org/.

March On for Voting Rights is a mass mobilization to demand that elected officials protect democracy, denounce voter suppression, make D.C. a state, and ensure fair, easy access to the vote. On August 28, the 58th anniversary of the historic March on Washington, we will march on cities across America to demand that the vision of MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech be deferred no longer. That means passing the For the People Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, and the Washington, D.C. Admission Act. The march is led by Drum Major Institute, March On, the National Action Network, Future Coalition, SEIU, and 51 for 51, and is joined by over 140 other partners. The march is funded through the #ForJohn campaign, a grassroots effort co-founded by Martin Luther King III and Arndrea King to fight voter suppression.

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