Women’s Equality Day and Voting Rights

Today is Women’s Equality Day. Formerly known as Woman Suffrage Day, this day marks the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920, granting women the right to vote.

That’s what we wrote in The Pulse Aug. 26. We heard from two readers who wanted us to go further into the story, since what happened (despite passage of the Amendment) was considerably more complex.

Thank you to Mekal Banyasz, M.P.A., research coordinator in the Criminal Justice Coordinating Center of Excellence, and Crystal Dunivant, FIRST consultant and trainer in the BeST Center, who sent the following messages:


Good Morning,

In the Pulse daily note of celebration on 8/26 we state that women gained the right to vote, but that doesn’t reflect reality and is therefore incorrect. I was hoping you could issue a correction with a more nuanced version of our history, that elevates the struggle that Black men and women experienced as they sought to cast their votes.

I wanted to reach out and send you two articles that may guide us in thinking about a different view of the 19th amendment and the right for women to vote:

Yes, Women Could Vote After The 19th Amendment — But Not All Women. Or Men

'It's a Struggle They Will Wage Alone.' How Black Women Won the Right to Vote

Thank you for your time.

- Mekal Banyasz, M.P.A.


I appreciate the updates that are listed in The Pulse and typically read it every morning. I did notice that yesterday there was a statement about the 19th amendment granting women the right to vote. This amendment did not lead to access of the voting process for all women. Jim Crow laws and racist restrictive voting laws prohibited Black people from freely voting until the 1960’s.

If we are going to truly have an inclusive, just, and equitable campus, we must consistently pause when discussing historical events to expand our lens and perspective. I am not saying that we avoid these conversations but that we tell the whole story.

-Crystal Dunivant


The Pulse welcomes contributions to the conversation below:

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