As the United States arrived at the brink of the 2020 election, three interdisciplinary scholars engaged in a panel discussion about why and how Black women of all classes have been at the forefront of movements for civil rights and economic justice. Based on their expertise on race, gender, and class, and scholarly backgrounds in history, labor studies, and political science, this paper presents perspectives on the critical role of Black women in simultaneously fighting for the right to vote, while protesting the disenfranchisement of all African Americans from the Reconstruction Era to the present. The paper discusses why and how previously marginalized groups have struggled to gain inclusion in the American political system, and how the efforts of Black women have shaped and prodded efforts to build a more democratic nation.

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