We’re pretty sure African American suffragists such as Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, and Mary Church Terrell were smiling down on the Black congresswomen who showed up wearing suffragette white to a joint session of U.S. Congress on Tuesday. They were among the several Democratic women who decided to wear white as a way to promote women’s rights and protest the agenda of the current administration. Representative Barbara Lee shared the powerful photo on Twitter.
— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) February 28, 2017advertisement
White, along with gold and purple, represented the official colors of the National Women’s Party and the suffragist movement, with white being the “emblem of purity, (and) symbolizes the quality of (a woman’s) purpose.”
Despite some women’s organizations like the National Women’s Party having an exclusionary history, Black women have continued to persevere and carve out a space to fight for their own rights. Today, white continues to represent the commitment to protecting women’s rights, and coupled with Black girl magic, becomes an even stronger political statement. As a matter of fact, Shirley Chisholm wore all white when she became the first African American congresswoman, as well as the first African American woman to run for a major party’s nomination for President of the United States.
Ladies, thank you for using your platform to take a stand and advocate for women’s rights.