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  • Thumbnail for Femininity, Race, and Citizenship: Mississippi Suffrage from 1890-1920
    Femininity, Race, and Citizenship: Mississippi Suffrage from 1890-1920 by Herron, Kaimara

    In 1890, a delegation of Mississippi legislators met to debate and eventually ratify a new state constitution. The new provisions for this constitution disenfranchised the state's large African American male population through the poll taxes, literacy qualifications, and understanding clauses. Within the next decade most southern states followed Mississippi's lead and created new constitutions to disenfranchise their own black populations. In doing so Mississippi ushered in a new wave of leaglized racial discrimination and marginalization but the 1890 constitutional convention was the starting point for Mississippi's woman suffrage movement. The movement was a relatively brief but important instance of political organizing among both black and white Mississippian women. Issues of race and difference were nearly unavoidable in the woman suffrage movement and therefore reveal critical insights into Mississippi society and southern identity at the turn of the 20th century.