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Fighting Chance

Fighting Chance

At the landmark Seneca Falls Convention (1848), Frederick Douglass helped Elizabeth Cady Stanton convince delegates to support the strange concept of woman suffrage. Twenty years later Cady Stanton's opposition to and Douglass' support for the Fifteenth Amendment (1869) brought these two civil rights giants and their causes to a bitter parting of the ways, with Douglass believing that white women could wait for the vote, and Cady Stanton asserting that the political participation of uneducated black men would destroy America unless balanced by that of more civilized, educated white women. How did these two causes, so long allied, come to such a terrible rift?

Faye Dudden is professor of History and a Presidential Scholar at Colgate University and the author of Fighting Chance: The Struggle Over Women Suffrage and Black Suffrage in Reconstruction America.

(Running time 49:56)