Grace Lucas-Thompson


Biographical Database of Black Woman Suffragists
Biographical Sketch of Grace Lucas-Thompson, 1872-?


By Casey Berardi, Briann Goff, Shelby Gordon, and Suzi Pepper
Undergraduates, Warren Wilson College.
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Margaret W. Carmack

Grace Evelyn Lucas was born in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1872. Grace lived in Indianapolis into adulthood, becoming a school teacher, a writer, and eventually a suffragist. While working in the Indianapolis public school system, Grace Lucas met Richard W. Thompson, a journalist and publisher of The Freeman, the first illustrated African American newspaper. The two married in 1901 and soon after moved to Washington, D.C., where they would live until Richard Thompson's death in 1920.

Presumably through her connection to the editor, Grace Lucas-Thompson wrote a column for The Freeman entitled "What Our Women Are Doing." Through this column, Lucas-Thompson chronicled the activities and important accomplishments of local African American women and women's organizations.

After moving to Washington, D.C., Lucas-Thompson continued to write her column highlighting the powerful African American women in D.C. society. But she also began to chronicle the issues facing African American women and became an advocate for women's right to vote. Lucas-Thompson used her column to be a voice for the women's suffrage movement and encouraged other women to get involved. In July 1905 she reprinted an article by a white South Carolina suffrage supporter, Ella Wheeler Wilcox. In March 1915 she wrote of the success of Black women voters in Chicago in securing the nomination of Oscar De Priest as the Republican candidate for alderman in the city's second ward.

Through her husband, Lucas-Thompson had access to social and political leaders, including Booker T. Washington. She was also active in the National Negro Business League, of which her husband served two terms as president. She served on the League's Executive Committee in 1912 and as secretary in 1915. Lucas-Thompson's columns continued to highlight the accomplishments of African American women and advocate for women's rights even after suffrage was achieved.

After her husband's death in 1920, a column "What Our Women Are Doing: Tomorrow" appeared in the Dallas Express. In this article, Lucas Thompson envisioned a world where "our hearts will be lighter . . . [and] the sky will be fair," continuing to advocate for greater rights for African American women. It is unclear if Lucas-Thompson had moved to Dallas after her husband's death. The year and place of her death are unknown.


Lucas-Thompson, Grace. "What Our Women Are Doing: Work is Rest." The Freeman, December 4, 1915.

Lucas-Thompson, Grace. "What Our Women Are Doing: Tomorrow." The Dallas Express, June 26, 1920.

Mather, Frank Lincoln. Who's Who of the Colored Race: A General Biographical Dictionary of Men and Women of African Descent. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1915.

Terborg-Penn, Rosalyn. African American Women in the Struggle for the Vote, 1850-1920 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998), pp. 113, 139.

"Local Branch Reorganized," Washington Evening Star, 19 Aug. 1912, p. 3.

"To Address Colored Folk," Washington Evening Star, 2 July 1915, p. 22.

Marriage record, Richard Thompson and Grace Evelyn Lucas, 5 Nov. 1901. Accessed online via Ancestry Library Edition.

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