African-American Women and Suffrage

Many Black American women struggled to make it to the forefront of politics. Women's clubs were made to form communities in Evanston to support and uplift.

Women's clubs were formed in reaction to the radical injustices Black Americans still faced after the Civil War. They were crucial to the suffrage movement because they allowed women to form communities and collaborate with like-minded groups in Chicago.

As Evanston's Black population grew, Black women formed clubs and organizations to work on various causes together. The Black auxiliary of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, the Julia Gaston Club (members are shown below), and the Iroquois League, among many others, were organizations engaged in philanthropic and political activities.

Although work for suffrage was not often mentioned by any of these women's organizations - the Ladies Colored Republican Club of Evanston was actively working in this time period. Black women’s Republican clubs were one of the primary venues for activism on voting rights issues in Illinois and it is likely that the Evanston group was very much engaged on this issue as well.


Alexia Oluwadeyi