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Julia Nixon’s artful performance reveals Harper’s complex differences with white suffragists over the 15th Amendment that granted the right to vote to Black men. Drawn from Harper’s novel, Minnie’s Sacrifice the heroine makes a compelling argument for universal suffrage but ends by saying she would throw not a straw in the way of Black men gaining the franchise.

“All that may be true, but I cannot recognize that the negro man is the only one who has pressing claims at this hour. To-day our government needs woman’s conscience as well as man’s judgment. And while I would not throw a straw in the way of the colored man, even though I know that he would vote against me as soon as he gets his vote, yet I do think that woman should have some power to defend herself from oppression, and equal laws as if she were a man.”

― Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Minnie’s Sacrifice

Nixon’s moving rendition of Not A Straw in the Way here