Yesterday, Election Day, I saw a tweet that I badly wanted to forward. It was a reminder that the majority of suffragettes were also racist and that we shouldn’t let our enthusiasm cause another person pain.
Good point, but I knew that Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton didn’t only work to gain women the vote. They championed black equality as well. That didn’t mesh with the above tweet so I did a bit of digging. Yes, I’m the kind of person who fact checks before forwarding something. Don’t judge.
Not surprisingly, when the 15th amendment granted the right to vote to black men, the women who had been working for blanket equality were a bit put out. To get women the vote, the group needed southern support. To get this support, they abandoned black women and worked to gain the vote for white women only.
Some of what I saw said that the vote for white women was put to Southern law makers as a way to balance (cancel out) the Black male vote. Others made it simply look like a matter of expedience. Don’t aggravate the southerners by asking for even more Black votes. It will take more digging to discover the truth. Clearly, this is a topic far to complex for a tweet.
But it is how new book ideas come into being. I see and question a fact. An explanation looks too simple. I know of a fact that contradicts a claim. And then I start to dig.
It means that many of my ideas are complex. This makes them tough to research and equally tough to write. But when I am looking for a gap in what has already been researched and written, this is where I find it.