On August 18th, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment of the US Constitution. After nearly a century of lobbying, marching, and protesting, it was finally illegal to deny anyone the right to vote on the basis of sex.
This was a massive step forward for equal voting rights in the US, but it was not without its flaws. Some members of the suffrage movement had sought to exclude Black women from the protection of the Amendment. And even after the 19th Amendment passed, the voting rights of Black, Indigenous, Asian, and Latinx Americans continued to be repressed, often violently. Although the Voting Rights Act of 1965 aimed to eliminate these practices, gerrymandering and other voter suppression techniques continue to threaten all Americans’ right to the elective franchise.
The Blackwing Volume XIX is legendary pencil brand Blackwing's tribute to the 19th Amendment and the ongoing fight for voting rights in the United States and around the world. On the day the 19th amendment was ratified, pro-suffrage protestors and legislators wore yellow roses pinned to their lapels, while their anti-suffrage counterparts wore red roses. This prompted the day to be dubbed "The War of the Roses."
This enamel pin is inspired by the yellow roses worn by the suffragists one hundred years ago. It was designed by Blackwing's friend Florian Bertmer, and features the word "Inalienable" emblazoned on a banner across its face.