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UB faculty member instrumental in designating historical marker for Black suffragist

By ALEXANDRA SACCONE Undergraduate English major Published September 8, 2023



A new historical marker celebrating Black suffragist Charlotte Dett was unveiled recently during a ceremony in Niagara Falls, thanks to the efforts of UB faculty member Lillian S. Williams, who nominated Dett for the honor.


“Dett is an unknown story, like that of so many African American women, and will enhance our understanding of these reform movements,” Williams, associate professor in the Department of Africana and American Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, told the crowd that gathered for the event on Aug. 16 at the site of Dett’s one-time home.


Dett (1862-1937), a suffragist and preservationist, was vice president of the Empire State Federation of Women’s Clubs and served in several executive positions of the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs (NACW). She joined other NACW members, including President Mary Talbert, in preserving the Washington, D.C., estate of Frederick Douglass and in honoring the life of Harriett Tubman of Auburn.


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