Northwestern Events Calendar


Martha Jones lecture on African Americans and the 19th Amendment (CAAH/CCHS)

When: Monday, February 28, 2022
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM CT

Where: Harris Hall, 108, 1881 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Elzbieta Foeller-Pituch   (847) 467-0885

Group: Center for Historical Studies

Co-Sponsor: Black Studies Department

Category: Academic


Joint CCHS/CAAH Distinguished lecture on African American History

FREE and open to the PUBLIC hybrid event--you can attend in person or watch the Zoom livestream (for Zoom registration ONLY see below)

Martha JONES (Johns Hopkins University), author of Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All (2020) and Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America (2018)

Lecture: Thick Women and the Thin Nineteenth Amendment”

For Fannie Lou Hamer, the Nineteenth Amendment was only a thin commitment to women’s equality before the Constitution. The Amendment was so thin that it excluded Black women from Mississippi, like Mrs. Hamer, from its protections. Today, legal scholars debate Fannie Lou Hamer’s interpretation of the Nineteenth Amendment, though they don’t always cite her. Some take the view of the Amendment as thin, as in merely barring states from enforcing laws that prohibited women’s votes based upon their sex. Another view of the Nineteenth Amendment is that it is thick in that it undergirds women’s entitlement to a broad panoply of universal human rights. Neither of these accounts, however, directly engages at all with Hamer’s claim that for Black women the Nineteenth Amendment had turned out to be irrelevant. In her lifetime, Mrs. Hamer Mrs. Hamer’s objectives—to be both politically empowered and politically powerful—far exceeded what proponents of the Nineteenth Amendment intended in 1920 and went beyond what legal scholars imagine for Black women even today.



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