Document 7B: Letter From Mary White Ovington to Harriot Stanton Blatch, 3 December 1920, National Woman's Party Papers, 1913-1974, Library of Congress (Microfilm (1979), reel 5).
National Association For The Advancement Of Colored People
70 Fifth Avenue, New York
Telephone Watkins 8098
December 3, 1920
Mrs. Harriot Stanton Blatch,
15 West 91st. Street,
New York City, N.Y.
My Dear Mrs. Blatch:
I am writing to you as an advisory member of the National Woman's Party asking if you will arrange that at the meeting, February fifteenth, a colored women be invited to speak. I would suggest as the speaker, Mrs. Mary B. Talbert, until last June president of the Federation of Colored Women, and this summer one of the ten official members of the International Council of Women met at Christiana. Mrs. Talbert is able, liberal in thought, and perhaps the best known colored woman in the United States today.
There was little voting and much terrorizing of Negroes in the South during the past elections and at Ocoee, Florida, there was a massacre. But equally sinister was the refusing to register women at such a place as Hampton, Virginia, where Hampton Institute has through many years endeavored to maintain kindly feeling between the two races, and yet where colored women were so insulted when they attempted to register, that one woman said, "I could kill the clerk who questioned me; I could kill his wife and children."
If the South means to awaken a spirit like this it will eventually have war to face. But I believe that the Negro woman can win her right to vote if she is upheld by the rest of the country. The thinking southern woman is generally more fairminded than the southern man, but she cannot secure justice for the colored woman without she has the backing of all of us.
Will you not therefore, endeavor to have a committee appointed out of your great meeting in February which shall investigate and take some action regarding the status of the colored woman? The Woman's Party must have in its membership, South as well as North, women of broad enough vision and deep enough purpose to attack this problem. And if the women attack it, it will be solved.
Hoping that you will do something in this matter, I am,
Very Sincerely yours,
Mary White Ovington