The National Woman's Party and Suffrage for African-American Women
January 4, 1921
Miss Alice Paul,
My dear Miss Paul:
Not being a member of the National Woman's Party, I wrote to the members of the National Advisory Council whom I knew asking them if they would interest themselves in having a colored woman appear on the program of the Woman's Party Conference in Washington in February. . . .
The difficulty, as I understand it, seems to be that it has been necessary for the Woman's Party to restrict its program to representatives from organizations which have undertaken a more or less distinct feminist program and that Mrs. Talbert, whose name I suggested as today the most distinguished colored woman speaker in the country and as an ex-President of the National Association of Colored Women, would not be able to speak at your session because she does not represent a feminist organization.
May I point out, however, that Mrs. Talbert does represent the colored women of the United States and that no white woman can today represent the colored women of this country. Owing to our caste system, these women are little known by white women and carry on their organization largely distinct from the organizations of your and my race. This being the case, it is surely eminently proper that a meeting which has as one of its objects the honoring of the great feminists of the nineteenth century should have on its program a representative colored woman. Indeed, I think when your statue of Lucretia Mott, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton is unveiled and it is realized that no colored woman has been given any part in your great session, the omission will be keenly felt by thousands of people throughout the country.
-- Excerpts from letter from Mary White Ovington to Alice Paul, 4 January 1921
7. How did Ovington respond to Alice Paul's justification for excluding Mary Talbert from the convention program?
To Document 6
| Teacher's Corner | DBQs | Other Classroom Uses | Teaching Links |
| Documents Projects and Archives | Teacher's Corner | Scholar's Edition | Full-Text Sources | About Us | Contact Us |