19th at 100: Commemorating the Suffrage Struggle and Its Legacies in Northeast Ohio

Jane Edna Hunter

The daughter of two sharecroppers, her father the child of a plantation overseer and a slave, Jane Edna Hunter keenly felt her racial inheritance. As a young girl she worked as a live-in servant and was given the chance to attend school by a missionary. She took her education as far as she could, attending Marshall Law School in Cleveland, Ohio. Hunter’s background led her to support other poor black girls and women working alone, and she founded the Phillis Wheatley Association in 1911, under its first name, the Working Girls Association. The association provided lodging, job placement, and job training. In addition, Hunter founded the Women’s Civil Rights League of Cleveland. Hunter also worked on the national scale and served as Vice President of the NACW. She received honorary degrees from four different universities and has multiple present day buildings named after her. 

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