Community Reporter: The Intersectional Feminist of Early 20th Century St. Paul

The onetime honorary president of the Minnesota Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs, Francis worked to convince nationally renowned intellectuals such as W.E.B. DuBois, Booker T. Washington, and Ida B. Wells-Barnett to campaign for the cause of women’s suffrage in Minnesota.

The life and work of an African American suffragist and activist devoted to equality and freedomIn many of the histories of the period that mention her name, Nellie Francis, the subject of a new exhaustive biography by William D. Green (Degrees of FreedomChildren of Lincoln), is identified only as the wife of William “Billy” T. Francis, the U.S. minister to the Republic of Liberia and the first Black diplomat in Minnesota. But as Nellie Francis: Fighting for Racial Justice and Women’s Equality confirms, such assessments ignore the stunning contributions of a local trailblazer of civil rights, who, perhaps because she sometimes obscured her own feelings in service to the causes she pursued, has gone astonishingly overlooked. 

Article at Community Reporter.

Published in: Community Reporter
By: David Lamb