Long Beach suffrage group to hold silent assembly in honor of voting rights centennial

A Long Beach group is organizing a silent assembly next week in honor of the 100th anniversary of the suffrage movement’s most notable success: prohibiting states from denying women the right to vote based on their sex.

The Long Beach Suffrage 100 group will hold a gathering on the south side of Ocean Boulevard, stretching east from Chestnut, to celebrate the 19th Amendment.

This year marks the 100 year anniversary of the nationwide ratification of the 19th Amendment by congress, the culmination of the women’s suffrage movement. The amendment stated that “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” This has been widely interpreted as giving women the right to vote.

The amendment was ratified on Aug. 18, and went into effect on Aug. 26. The amendment gave some women the right to vote, while others, especially Black women, continued to suffer voter suppression.

The state of California ratified the amendment in 1911. According to the Long Beach Historical Society, Long Beach played an exemplary role in that election, in that it was the only city where the majority of men in every precinct voted yes.

The event will also show support for the John Lewis Voting Rights Act of 2020, which would restore parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that were stripped away by the Supreme Court in 2013, enabling some states to implement more restrictive voter registration rules.

The more recent act, named after the recently deceased Congressman and civil rights leader, was passed by the House of Representatives in December 2019, but has yet to be voted on in the Senate.

The “Silent Sentinels” will meet on Wednesday, Aug. 26, between noon and 1 p.m.

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Alena Maschke writes about all things business and beyond for the Long Beach Business Journal/Long Beach Post. Born and raised in Germany, she first fell in love with California during an exchange year at UCLA. After receiving her master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in 2017, she returned to the Golden State with an appetite for great stories, pupusas and the occasional Michelada.