Women continued to shape Minnesota’s political landscape after the 19th Amendment became law.

After 1920, many Minnesota suffragists channeled energy into new initiatives. Some joined the League of Women Voters to teach all women, and immigrants in particular, about citizenship and voting. Others focused on basic civil rights like fair housing, jobs, and education, which were out of reach for many people of color. 

Over the years, a new generation of women activists rose up. They moved forward on the paths cleared by their predecessors. They also broke new ground. Women raised their voices and worked for change throughout the Great Depression in the late 1920s and ’30s, World War II in the 1940s, and the civil rights movement in the late 1950s and throughout the ’60s

Pres. Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law during the height of the civil rights movement. It contains several provisions that prohibit racial discrimination in voting. Supporters called it a step toward voter access on par with the 19th Amendment.

Despite these advances, many voters still encounter barriers when they go to the polls. The work never ends.

From left: A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins, and Anna Arnold Hedgeman planning the 1963 March on Washington, about 1963. Courtesy National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center.

Featured women

Pat Bellanger

Fanny ​Brin

W. Gertrude Brown

Gratia Countryman

Joan Growe

Anna Arnold Hedgeman

Josie Johnson

Nellie Stone Johnson

Katie McWatt

Debbie Montgomery

Claire O’Connor

Emily Peake

Ruth Tanbara

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