'We should do more and talk less.'
Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, the first woman and person of color elected to federal office from Delaware, took to the House floor to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment’s House passage – expanding the right to vote for women everywhere. During her remarks, Blunt Rochester paid tribute to Delaware suffragist, Mary Ann Shadd Cary. Full transcript below.
“Madam Speaker, I rise today – standing on the achievements of brave women who came before me – to commemorate the centennial anniversary of the 19th amendment’s House passage – expanding the right for women to vote.
“As we celebrate this historic day, I want to pay tribute to an overlooked but trailblazing woman who helped make it possible – Delaware pioneer and suffragist, Mary Ann Shadd Cary.
“In her prophetic words, ‘We should do more and talk less.’
“Using the power of the pen, Shadd Cary was the first woman to edit and publish a newspaper in North America – using that role to combat systemic racism and slavery.
“After the Civil War, she set her sights on a new cause – voting. She became one of the first black female lawyers in the United States and testified before the House Judiciary Committee in 1874 – advocating for women’s suffrage in these very halls.
“Described by W.E.B. Du Bois as “well-educated, vivacious, with determination shining from her sharp eyes,” Mary Ann Shadd Cary blazed trails for women everywhere and throughout her life always fought in the name of justice and equality.
“We owe it to her, and we owe it to all to continue to fight for our rights.”