The National Woman's Party and Suffrage for African-American Women
Alice Paul Pulls the Strings
By Freda Kirchwey
A delegation of sixty women sent by colored women's organizations in fourteen States arrived in Washington several days before the convention. They requested an interview with Alice Paul so that they might take up with the question of the disenfranchisement of the women of their race. They were told Miss Paul was too busy to see them. They said they would wait till she had time. Finally, grudgingly, she yielded. The colored women presented their case in the form of a dignified memorial -- which read as follows:
Miss Paul was indifferent to this appeal and resented the presence of the delegation. Their chance of being heard at the convention was gone. A Southern organizer told the one active supporter of the colored women . . . that the Woman's Party was pledged not to raise the race issue in the South; that this was the price it paid for ratification.
The attitude of Alice Paul and her supporters toward these disturbers of the peace . . . was the attitude of all established authorities. "Why do these people harass us?" asked Miss Paul. "Why do they want to spoil our convention?" The answer, that never occurred to her, was this: "For the very same reason that made you disturb the peace and harass the authorities in your peculiarly effective and irritating way: because they want to further the cause they believe in."
-- Excerpts from Freda Kirchwey, "Alice Paul
Pulls the Strings," The Nation, 2 March 1921
10. How did African-American women want the National Woman's Party to help them?
11. According to Kirchwey, how did Alice Paul respond?
To Document 8
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