Inez Richardson (Wilson)

 

Biographical Database of Black Women Suffragists

Biographical Sketch of Inez Richardson (Wilson), 1896-1962

By Thomas Dublin, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Binghamton University

Inez Richardson was born in 1896 in Cleveland, Ohio to Albert and Lottie Richardson. In 1910 she lived with her widowed mother and a younger brother and sister in Oberlin, OH. She married Wiley Wilson, probably in the early 1920s. By 1930 they resided in Manhattan with a 3-year-old daughter, Joyce. Wiley was a doctor in both 1930 and 1940, and he was listed in 1940 as owning a home valued at $24,000. Joyce may have died in the 1930s and is not present in the 1940 household. The other complication is the listing of Wiley's wife as Lillian in 1940. Her age is right but the birthplace does not match. Inez Wilson passed away in Calais, Vermont in August 1962 and her spouse is identified in that record as Wiley and her parents match. I am assuming that the census enumerator made errors in the 1940 census record.

Inez Richardson first comes into view in a suffrage-related activity in February 1921. Richardson, said to be from Oberlin, joined 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 was headed by the NAACP field secretary, Addie W. Hunton, and Richardson served as its secretary. In that capacity Richardson pressed Alice Paul, head of the National Woman's Party (NWP), to arrange a time for the delegation to meet with her. The group met with Paul, 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 refusals 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.

After her marriage to Wiley Wilson, Inez became a regular employee of the NAACP, serving as chairman of its Women's Auxiliary in New York City and as President of the Women's Committee of One Hundred. Among her responsibilities she orchestrated a fundraiser and dance held at the Harlem branch of the YWCA in March 1929. Scanning of the Women's Auxiliary portion of the NAACP Papers indicates that Inez Richardson Wilson worked for the NAACP at least between 1927 and 1934.

Sources:

Federal Manuscript Censuses, Collinwood, OH, 1900; Oberlin, OH, 1910; New York, NY, 1930 and 1940. Accessible online with Ancestry Library Edition.

WikiTree entry for Inez (Richardson) Wilson, including birth and death dates and places. Accessible online at https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Richardson-29100.

NAACP Papers, Women's Auxiliary folders of the online collection in ProQuest History Vault.

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

 

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Related Works in DuBois Online Correspondence: 6 for Inez Richardson
3 for Inez Richardson Wilson

 

 

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