Women's Suffrage Below the Color Line, presented Oct 3, 2020

Women's Suffrage Below the Color Line, presented Oct 3, 2020


In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment allowing American women the right to vote, as well as the 100th birthday of the LWV organization, the League of Women Voters of New Castle County proudly hosted Syl Woolford for his "Women's Suffrage Below the Color Line" presentation on October 3, 2020.

 Thank you, Syl, for sharing your knowledge with us!


After a 70 year fight the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1920, prohibiting the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex. It is important to remember that not all women benefited from the 19th amendment. Middle-class and upper-class white women were the first to benefit. For Black women, August 1920 wasn’t the culmination of a movement. It marked the start of a new fight. Because of Jim Crow laws and other obstacles, Black women were largely disenfranchised until the Voting Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965.

In 2013 the U.S. Supreme Court rolled back voter protections in the Voting Rights Act and, since that time, we have seen countless attacks on the right to vote—too often targeting racial minorities, as has been the case throughout our country’s history. In the aftermath of that decision, we have seen regressions to early voting, unjust voter purges, and strict voter photo ID laws that make it harder for young people, women, people of color, and individuals with low incomes to register and exercise their right to vote.

Today in 2020, it is important that we remember the movements for suffrage which have been waged in the past, including the Women’s Suffrage Movement which lead to the formation of the League of Women Voters.

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About the Presenter

Syl Woolford is a native Delawarean who currently resides in Newark, Delaware. Mr. Woolford is a graduate of William Penn High School, a graduate of Delaware State University with a BS Degree in Business Administration /Accounting and a graduate of Rutgers University with an MBA in Marketing.

In 2008, Mr. Woolford began researching his family history and expanded that research into a total revisiting of African-American history. He has been lecturing on African-American history since 2010 when he began lecturing on “African-American Soldiers in the Civil War.”

Syl serves on several historical preservation boards and he has received many awards and tributes for his work.

League to which this content belongs: 
New Castle County