Biographical Database of Black Women Suffragists

Biographical Sketch of Mamie (also Maymie) Anderson, 1889-1967

By Thomas Dublin, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Binghamton University

Mamie Hill was born in 1889 or 1890 in Virginia. The date of her marriage is uncertain, but by 1920 Mamie Anderson was divorced and boarded in Alexandria, where she was employed as a teacher, in a newly built colored school, the Parker-Gray School.

A photo survives of the first faculty of Parker-Gray, when the school opened in 1920. Two of the teachers, identified as Mayme Anderson and Susie Madden, were part of a delegation of 60 Black women suffragists, who protested violations of the recently ratified 19th Amendment in Southern states that denied Black women their voting rights. The delegation, headed by the NAACP field secretary, Addie W. Hunton, met with Alice Paul, head of the National Woman's Party (NWP) on the eve of the party's national convention. Their purpose was to press the NWP to pass a resolution calling on Congress to investigate the failures of Southern states to enforce the 19th Amendment for Black women. Paul made no such commitment and the convention as a whole refused to endorse the call.

Mamie Anderson passed away in Richmond, VA in 1967.

Sources:

Federal Manuscript Census, Alexandria, VA, 1920. Accessed in Ancestry Library edition.

Virginia death records, accessed in Ancestry Library edition.

List of NAACP Delegation Members to Alice Paul, 12 February 2021, NAACP Papers, Part 04 Voting Rights and Voting Rights Campaign, 1916-1950 (Feb. 8, 1921-April 3, 1921), frames 61-64, Library of Congress.

"The First Parker-Gray School," includes a photo of the ten teachers (including Mayme Anderson) and the principal at the school's opening in 1920. Accessed online at https://www.alexandriava.gov/sites/default/files/2021-12/Trail-Sign-First-Parker-Gray-School.pdf

 

Mayme Anderson is at the far left in the second row and Susie Madden is second from the right in that row. Accessible at https://theotheralexandria.com/2011/10/30/1920-parker-gray-class/.

 

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