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S I T E
Suffrage in Texas Expanded
Suffrage in Texas Expanded (SITE) is an ongoing project whose goal is to develop a digital research collection that consists of a webliography of resources that chronicle a more inclusive vision of the struggle for women’s suffrage in Texas. Dr. Veronica Popp, former doctoral candidate in Rhetoric and Multicultural Women's & Gender Studies at Texas Woman's University, is the author of this SITE LibGuide. This project was funded by The Jane Nelson Institute for Women's Leadership at Texas Woman's University.
The goal of this project is to develop a digital research collection that will consist of an index or webliography of resources that chronicle a more inclusive vision of the struggle for women’s suffrage in Texas. Specifically, the project researcher will create a digital hub of resources, including links to available primary source documents, articles, books, interviews, documentaries, visual resources, cultural heritage resources, etc., which document Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) suffrage groups and movements in Texas, as well as those groups that are currently represented in the historical narrative of women’s suffrage. While wonderful digital collections exist, which document the roles and experiences of Black, African American and Latina and Chicana suffrage movements in the United States, Project SITE will provide a more focused list of resources specific to Texas.
The project is specific to BIPOC suffrage in Texas and attempts to create a narrative from the voices who have been silenced or lost in the movement. One of the challenges in documenting a more inclusive understanding of the pathways to suffrage for women in Texas is helping others to understand that suffrage granted to women in Texas in 1919 did not, in fact, include all women. Only until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (with ongoing extensions in 1970, 1975, 1982, 1992, and 2006 for language barriers and discrimination upon expiration) were women of color fully able to enact their right to vote. More specific to the question is that Hispanic women often organized under social issues such as labor rights and education (often for children) tied to suffrage. Black women organized much earlier for temperance, education and desegregation tied to suffrage. This project is continuing the ongoing narrative of BIPOC suffrage continued by research by the Black Press Research Collective, Chicana por mi Raza Digital Memory Project and Archive, and the Houston Suffragist Project. A takeaway from this project is that women of color in Texas often sought to create a voice for themselves outside of the traditional two party system. Black women organized within the Black and Tan Party (an off-shot of the Republican party) and ran three black female candidates in 1919-1920. Similarly, Chicana women organized the Raza Unida nationalist party and ran candidates in the 1970s.
Language in Digital Archives
The language and terms expressed in these archival documents do not necessarily represent those of Texas Woman's University and the Jane Nelson Institute. Efforts have been made to conceal offensive or upsetting language, however, digital archives may still include terms readers find offensive. Specific terms such as “colored people” or "negro" have a specific and historical meaning in the United States, and it’s most commonly associated with the segregated Jim and Jane Crow south. While it’s important to remember that history, it’s also important that we don’t recycle the language. As researchers, we seek to learn from the past political organizing of BIPOC activists to take away what we can from the advancements made by these women in the face of strong odds against them.
The timeline below offers a brief visual representation of major events in the timeline of legislation within the journey of BIPOC women who sought suffrage.