How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All
by Martha S. Jones
“An elegant and expansive history” (New York Times) of African American women’s pursuit of political power—and how it transformed America .
In Vanguard, acclaimed historian Martha S. Jones offers a new history of African American women’s political lives in America. She recounts how they 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. From the earliest days of the republic to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and beyond, Jones excavates the lives and work of Black women—Maria Stewart, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Fannie Lou Hamer, and more—who were the vanguard of women’s rights, calling on America to realize its best ideals.
Now revised to discuss the election of Vice President Kamala Harris and the vital contributions of Black women in the 2020 elections, Vanguard is essential reading for anyone who cares about the past and future of American democracy.
Paperback | 368 pages | Basic Books; Reprint edition | 2021
Martha S. Jones is the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and professor of history at Johns Hopkins University. She is president of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, the oldest and largest association of women historians in the United States, and she sits on the executive board of the Organization of American Historians. Author of Birthright Citizens and All Bound Up Together, she has written for The Washington Post, The Atlantic, USA Today, and more. She lives in Baltimore, MD.