Document 4: Letter to Miss Emma Wold from Anna A. Clemons, 24 October 1920, National Woman's Party Papers, 1913-1974, Library of Congress (Microfilm (1979), reel 5).
In this her second letter to the National Woman's Party, Anna Clemons describes the dilemma that faced African Americans attempting to register to vote in her county in 1920. Her correspondence testifies to her literacy, and her letter reveals a clear understanding of the barriers whites have erected to keep African American men and women from voting.
Southport, N. C.
Oct 24th 1920
Miss Emma Wold:
My Dear Miss Wold:
In reply to your letter, which was duly received yesterday, will take the greatest of pleasure to write you my result, in attempting or trying to register. I went before the registrator Oct 15th, and was refused to be registered, as this board requires all colored to be able to read and write to "suit" the registrator and all persons of colored origin in this whole county have been unable to suit the registrator; North Carolina laws require one to be able to read and write, to register, still we have in our county ones to fill requirements then they are refused. I hope, and ask if you should have this matter investigated, then please do not let my name be brought into this matter because their is so much prejudice existing until I am most assured I will be a victim of lawless Mob. To show you I am no agitator, or race leader, I will try to explain just my position. I am a nurse, have nursed in most every home in this town for past 9 years, acting at times as assistant to one of the South's best Surgeons Dr. J Arthur Doshice [?] of this [?]. I donated to the Red Cross, Volunteered during the epidemic of "1918," "flu," and hold a certificate for heroic services rendered over my State and own property, and pay my tax. Am a Christian belong to the Methodist Church, attend to my own business, don't interfere with no race of people, and try to live here as I expect to live when I pass in the great beyond, that is in peace. I have seven (7) brothers law abiding supposed to be citizens denied the same as myself.
Hoping and resting assured you will not use my name in this matter that I will close.
Anna A. Clemons
Bx 294 Southport N.C.
back to top