Welcome to WOMEN 100, a yearlong celebration marking a century of progress since women won the right to vote and set the agenda to achieve economic, political and social equality.
WHYY’S Marty Moss-Coane hosts the weekly spots focused on the achievements of women who changed our world.
After almost a century of protests, the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote, was passed in 1919. It said: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”
WHYY is producing the series with Drexel University College of Medicine’s Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership, as part of their Vision 2020’s Women 100 project. The project is focused on the unfinished business of women’s equality, with special emphasis on shared leadership among women and men in business, the arts, science, government and beyond.
Episode 1: Mary Church Terrell
Mary Church Terrell was born during the Civil War, right after the Emancipation Proclamation. The daughter of former slaves who became successful entrepreneurs, she grew up in a household where education was of the utmost importance and she was one of the first African American woman to earn a bachelor’s degree. She started as a teacher at Wilberforce University and then at the M Street School in Washington, D.C., the nation’s first black public high school.
Terrell’s life took a turn when in 1892, a friend was lynched. This strengthened her struggle for African American and women’s rights. She went on to co-found the NAACP in 1909 with W.E.B. Du Bois and other activists. In her 80s, Mary Church Terrell won a lawsuit against a whites-only restaurant, helping to end the Jim Crow laws. Her 1940 autobiography is “A Colored Woman In A White World.” She died in 1954.