Mary Church Terrell

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Mary Church Terrell

Mary Church Terrell (September 23, 1863 – July 24, 1954) was one of the first African-American women to earn a college degree, and became known as a national activist for civil rights and suffrage.


Quotes From:  A Colored Woman in a White World by Mary Church Terrell[edit]

At National Women Suffrage Association in Washington

  • I arose and said, As a colored woman, I hope this association will include in the resolution the injustices of various kinds of which colored people are the victims."  p. 143


  • In the early 1890’s it required a great deal of courage for a woman to publicly to acknowledge before an audience that she believed in suffrage for her sex when she knew a majority did not. p.144

On Fredrick Douglas

  • When ELizabeth Cady Stanton presented a resolution demanding equal political rights for Women in Seneca falls in 1848, the only person there willing to second it was Fredrick Douglas, … and it was his masterful arguments and matchless eloquence that the resolution passed despite powerful opposition.  Therefore, whenever the women of this country pause long enough to think about the hard fight which had to be waged so as to enable them to enjoy their rights as citizens …they should remember the great debt of gratitude they owe to a colored man at a crucial occasion point when no other man was willing to come to their aid. pp. 169-170

After being accused as bitter in a lecture:

  • Colored people so seldom tell certain truths about conditions which confront their race that when they do, even white people who are interested in them feel that they must be “bitter”.  p.175
  • What a fine thing it would be if the North were as loyal to what it claims to be its principles as the South to its views?  p. 290

Post 19th amendment

  • By a miracle the 19th amendment has been ratified, we women now have a weapon of defense ... it will be a shame to us if we do not use it … we shall give our enemies a stick with which to break our head, Hold meetings, every time you meet a woman talk to her about going to the polls and vote!  p.310


Online book locations

A Colored Woman in a White World

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