Despite The Danger, She Was The First In Her Town To Register To Vote

Votes For Women lapel pin
Shonda Buchanan
February 18, 2021

The courthouse looked scary, but Irene Griffin was determined. She didn’t tell her husband, because she was afraid the KKK would try to stop what she was about to do – something no one had done before.

She and her husband were organizers of the first Civil Rights organization in her heavily-segregated town. No one else had stepped up to challenge their local judge, a proud segregationist and KKK member, who would rather see Black people dead than voting.

As she leaned in to do this audacious act – signing her name on the dotted line – she was sure she could hear the thunder of KKK members on horses galloping up to the building. But she refused to back down!

She bravely wrote her name in the poll book, joining the fight for Civil Rights raging across the country and making history as the first Black woman in her town to register to vote – becoming a model of tenacity and perseverance.

The fight was far from over, but she took the risk anyway – for us.

Black women are still at the helm of the fight for voter rights – yet we’re always risking something to be first at the polls. Remember, though: we might be the first to challenge a racist system, but we won’t be the last!

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