The 2019-2020 Georgia History Festival theme, “Women’s Suffrage at 100: the 19th Amendment and Georgia History” focuses on exploring the legacy of women’s suffrage in Georgia and the United States in commemoration of the struggle to pass the 19th Amendment in which women won the right to vote 100 years ago. Throughout the Festival the Collection Highlights Blog will share materials from GHS collections that present varying perspectives, opinions, and efforts related to the women’s suffrage movement and its legacy in Georgia.
These pages are from a program for the third annual meeting of the Savannah Federation of Negro Women’s Clubs in July 1921. On the left page there is an excerpt of an open letter to “the women of Savannah and Chatham County” regarding the “doings & achievements of the Savannah Federation of Negro Women’s Clubs.” Written by Federation President Rebecca Stiles Taylor (not pictured), a local journalist and educator, the letter lays out the purpose and the platform of the Federation to do “uplift work.”
Suffrage, or the right to vote, is 6th on the Federation’s platform as “THE USE OF THE BALLOT.” Mrs. George S. Williams or Mamie Williams (pictured on the right) led a voter campaign to educate and register women to vote in 1920 and is credited with bringing out 40,000 Georgia women to vote that year.
African-American women’s clubs missions were doubly significant as they were not only working towards equal suffrage in their communities but also aimed to uplift African Americans socially, culturally, and politically.