We are sad to share the news of the passing of pioneering historian of African American women, Rosalyn Terborg-Penn. Professor Terborg-Penn wrote a pathbreaking 1977 dissertation that became her contribution to rethinking the place of Black women in the struggle for woman suffrage, African American Women in the Struggle for the Vote, 1850-1920 (1998). In 2008, we approached Professor Terborg-Penn with a proposal to draw on her dissertation and book as the foundation for creating on WASM a primary source set on the writings of Black Women Suffragists. Professor Terborg-Penn graciously shared her work and joined the project, writing an introduction and leading our efforts to recruit 16 other noted historians to write scholarly essays that draw on the collection. We are deeply indebted to her and the Black Women Suffragists Collection has benefited enormously from her contributions. She was a good friend and a dedicated historian. She will be missed.
For a thoughtful obituary of Rosalyn Terborg-Penn, see this New York Times article.
In their document project Julie Myers-Mushkin and Diane Pecknold explore the ways that an 1831 strike by the United Tailoresses Society in New York City became a struggle for women’s rights as well as a labor protest and contributed a working-class perspective to the emerging woman’s rights movement of this period.
With this issue of WASM we publish the first installment of the Online Biographical Dictionary of the Woman Suffrage Movement in the United States (OBD), It will eventually include crowdsourced biographical sketches of more than 3,000 women suffrage activists, primarily concentrated in the period 1890-1920. We are aiming for an inclusive collection, including white and black suffragists, mainstream and militant suffragists. The sketches will place women’s suffrage activism within the frame of women’s broader social agenda, before and after the final approval of the 19th Amendment in August 1920. The OBD can also be viewed at a freely accessible site at https://documents.alexanderstreet.com/VOTESforWOMEN.
The Women's History Movement as Viewed through the "Living U.S. Women's History Oral History Project."
The primary source set, “The Women’s History Movement,” provides 28 oral history interviews of pioneers in the emergence of the academic field of U.S. Women’s History with an analytic overview by Jennifer Tomas that places the interviews within a broader historical context.