The current election has reminded us once again that African American women are the bedrock of the Democratic Party. They also did a lot of the hard work of turning California from red (as it was when I was growing up) to blue. Here is a wonderful photo of African American women getting out the vote in San Francisco in September, 1956. It comes from the collection of Frances Albrier, head of the San Francisco chapter of the National Council of Negro Women at the time. Her archive is housed at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Note that many of the signs look handmade. I love the one in the middle, which appears to show two women in pants lining up to vote.
And what a wonderful array of fifties fashion worn by middle aged and older women. They range from the shirt waist style in front, to fit and flair dresses, to sheath dresses, to trim suits. There are many shoe styles as well. A few women even wear very high heels, which are not very practical on San Francisco hills. My personal favorite is the white haired woman towards the back in a light colored suit.
I haven’t been to the National Museum of African American History and Culture yet, have you? I’m told by many that it is a life altering experience. What a thrill to discover that some of the collection is on line. Take a look.