Talking about equality in the United States is a thorny issue, knowing that it is one of the world’s most unequal and structurally unjust countries.
Nevertheless, in this country, we observe Women’s Equality Day every August 26 to commemorate the 1920 passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Nineteenth Amendment prohibits states and the federal government from denying voting rights to U.S. citizens on the basis of sex.
However, as NPR explains, even before that milestone, millions of people , women and men alike — were still excluded from voting thanks to barriers designed by politicians to hinder suffrage.
The fight for the Nineteenth Amendment was not limited to sex but was also deeply tied to race.
In fact, although the women’s suffrage movement had its roots in the antislavery movement, early suffragist leaders, such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, later broke away from their alliance with the abolitionists. They were outraged that, under the 15th Amendment, Black men got the vote while white women were still denied it.
That’s why today we want to lift the voices of Latina badasses who really knew what equality means for communities of color, especially women.
1. “Freedom is contagious. You always want more.” Yoani Sanchez.
Yoani María Sánchez Cordero is a Cuban blogger who has achieved international fame and multiple international awards for her critical portrayal of life in Cuba under the Castro regime.
2. “In a man’s world like this one, I want to warn you to be careful. Here comes the revenge of women. When we are the majority, we are going to rule. And to rule, we have to be informed, learn and be prepared. That is why women must educate themselves.” María Félix.
María de los Ángeles Félix Güereña, known as María Félix, was a Mexican film actress and singer. Along with Pedro Armendáriz and Dolores del Río, she was one of the most successful figures of Latin American cinema in the 1940s and 1950s.
3. “This was the last astronaut job that was not (yet) done by a woman. Now with this milestone, we can focus on the fact that what is important to succeed in life, it does not matter whether you are a man or a woman.” Ellen Ochoa.
Ellen Ochoa is an American engineer, former astronaut, and former director of the Johnson Space Center. In 1993 Ochoa became the first Hispanic woman to go to space when she served on a nine-day mission aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery.
4.”Instead of getting hard ourselves and trying to compete, women should try and give their best qualities to men — bring them softness, teach them how to cry.” Joan Baez.
Joan Chandos Baez is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and activist. Her contemporary folk music often includes songs of protest and social justice. Baez has performed publicly for over 60 years, releasing over 30 albums.
5. “Racism and sexism, misogyny, and homophobia, they’re so visible. They’re out in the open. When they’re visible, it’s a lot easier to deal with them.” Dolores Huerta.
Dolores Clara Fernández Huerta is an American labor leader and civil rights activist who, with Cesar Chavez, is a co-founder of the National Farmworkers Association, which later merged with the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee to become the United Farm Workers.