Suffrage anniversary commemorations highlight racial divide


In this Aug. 19, 1920 photo made available by the Library of Congress, Alice Paul, chair of the National Woman’s Party, unfurls a banner after the ratification of the 19th Amendment, at the NWP’s headquarters in Washington. The women’s suffrage movement in the United States is widely considered to have been launched at the Seneca Falls convention in New York state in 1848. At the time, many Southerners were wary of the movement because key leaders also were engaged in anti-slavery campaigning. (The Crowley Company/Library of Congress via AP)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — As the U.S. marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, many event organizers have been careful to present it as a commemoration, not a celebration.

That’s because when the 19th Amendment passed in 1920, it was mostly white women who benefited. From Arizona to North Carolina, many exhibits this year are presenting a more nuanced history of the American women’s suffrage movement along with the traditional tributes.

The change comes during a year of nationwide protests against racial inequality that have forced America to reckon with its uncomfortable history.

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