Vanguard book cover

Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All

Martha S. Jones in conversation with Manisha Sinha

Thursday, February 2, 2023, at 7:00 pm ET

Cosponsored by the Worcester Black History Project

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Join us as Martha S. Jones offers a new history of African American women's political lives in America. In the standard story, the suffrage crusade began in Seneca Falls in 1848 and ended with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. But this overwhelmingly white women's movement did not win the vote for most black women. Securing their rights required a movement of their own. Jones will recount how African American women defied both racism and sexism to fight for the ballot, and how they wielded political power to secure the equality and dignity of all persons.


Martha S. JonesMartha S. Jones is a historian, writer, and commentator who focuses on how black Americans have shaped the history of American Democracy. She is the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor, Professor of History, and a Professor at the SNF Agora Institute at The Johns Hopkins University. She is an immediate past co-president of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, and today serves on the boards and committees of the Society of American Historians, the Library of Congress, the National Women's History Museum, the US Capitol Historical Society, the Johns Hopkins University Press, the CUNY Law School Foundation, the Journal of African American History and Slavery & Abolition. Jones was elected to AAS membership in 2018. Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All (2020), was the winner of the 2021 L.A. Times Book Prize for History, the finalist for the 2021 Mark Lynton History Prize, a 2021 MAAH Stone Book Award short list selection, a 2021 Cundill History Prize short list selection, and named a best book for 2020 by Ms., Time, Foreign Affairs, Black Perspectives, the Undefeated, and Smithsonian.


Manisha SinhaManisha Sinha is the Draper Chair in American History at the University of Connecticut and held the Mellon Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the American Antiquarian Society in 2020. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University, where her dissertation was nominated for the Bancroft Prize. She taught at the University of Massachusetts for over twenty years, where she was awarded the Chancellor’s Medal, the highest honor bestowed on faculty. She is the author of The Counterrevolution of Slavery: Politics and Ideology in Antebellum South Carolina (University of North Carolina Press, 2000), which was named one of the ten best books on slavery in Politico in 2015 and featured in the New York Times 1619 Project. Her multiple award winning second monograph The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition was long listed for the National Book Award for Non Fiction. It was named Editor’s Choice in The New York Times Book Review, book of the week by Times Higher Education to coincide with its UK publication, and one of three great History books of 2016 in Bloomberg News. Sinha was elected to AAS membership in 2006 and serves on the AAS Council.

Women Make History
Worcester Black History Project

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