Politics and Government

Women and the Political Process

How were black women in free states involved in political action?

Black women in the North and West faced racism and sexism, yet they were free to act without interference from state and federal governments. Thus they publicly involved themselves in alternative political activities. The strong female-centered communities that they built were in their churches, mutual aid societies, and women’s organizations. Between 1830 and 1860, they worked through the convention movement at the local, state, and national level and promoted temperance, education, black self-reliance, and other concerns. Leadership positions in some of these organizations had not opened to them during this time, yet they combined their efforts with those of black men to advocate suffrage, protest slavery, and seek redress for discrimination.


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