Mabel Lee was born in Guangzhou China in 1896 and immigrated to the U.S. when she was 4. By the time she was 16, Mabel was a known figure in New York’s suffrage movement. Lee helped lead a 1912 parade in New York City to advocate for women’s voting rights that drew ten thousand people. Her May 1914 essay, “The Meaning of Woman Suffrage” helped pave the way for womens’ right to vote in New York in 1917 and nationally with the adoption of the 19th Amendment in 1920. However, Chinese women like Mabel didn’t win citizenship and the right to vote until the Chinese Exclusion Act was repealed in 1943.

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