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Liette Gidlow
Wayne State University (Detroit, MI 48201-1347)
Black Women's Disfranchisement and the Fight for Voting Rights, 1920-1945

I propose to work full-time during the grant period to complete a submission-ready manuscript of a journal article on the disfranchisement of African American women in the southern U.S. between 1920 and 1945. This project begins a radical reinterpretation of the constitutional amendment long heralded as the single greatest expansion of democracy in U.S. history. My research indicates that though the 19th Amendment nearly doubled the size of the electorate overnight, a great many women of color and poor women remained in effect disfranchised for decades because opponents, motivated by beliefs in white supremacy and male supremacy and sometimes also by partisan considerations, used Jim Crow tactics, poll taxes, and plain intimidation and violence to block these women from the polls. Though the 19th Amendment officially granted women the right to vote in 1920, it took decades of continued struggle and mobilization before many women were able in fact to freely cast ballots.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
U.S. History; Women's History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2014 – 6/30/2014