Political Reform

Mary Latimer McLendon
Lucy Cobb Institute
Voter Registration Meeting, 1953

Debates about woman suffrage occurred in an environment of shifting gender roles in the early twentieth century. While antisuffragists believed that women’s roles should remain in the domestic sphere, suffragettes secured public roles as activists and civic leaders to challenge gendered expectations of women in politics. Concerns about race pervaded virtually every battle over political enfranchisement for Georgian women. Many white suffragists believed that a federal suffrage amendment would threaten the state’s system of Black disenfranchisement. Despite these obstacles, Black women persisted in the fight for voting rights and formed their own suffrage organizations.