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At the age of 88


At the age of 88 with her cane in hand, Mary Church Terrell, an undaunted fighter for equal rights, led the successful battle to desegregate forty restaurants in Washington, D.C. (1951 to 1952). A suffragist who had joined the picket line in front of the White House, Terrell wrote in her autobiography that from an early age she believed in "woman suffrage with all my heart." I included this sketch of her in my book "The Vote: Women's Fierce Fight." It first appeared on the front page of "The Colored American: National Negro Newspaper," February 17, 1900. The occasion was her second speech to the National American Women's Suffrage Association. The caption reads: "Mrs. Mary Church Terrell, President of the National Association of Colored Women. Her Address on 'Woman Suffrage" was the Hit of the Recent Gathering of American's Brainiest Women." Terrell received a bouquet of flowers and enthusiastic applause. She told the group of white women suffragists: "In spite of the obstacles encountered the progress made by colored women along many lines appears like a veritable miracle of modern times . . . Seeking no favors because of their color, nor charity because of their needs, they knock on the door of Justice and ask for an equal chance."

This landmark honoring her campaign to desegregate restaurants in Washington, D.C., is at the top of my "To Visit" (The photo is by Allen C. Browne.)

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