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Black Women's Christian ActivismSeeking Social Justice in a Northern Suburb$
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Betty Livingston Adams

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780814745465

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814745465.001.0001

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“The Home Away from Home”

“The Home Away from Home”

Suffrage, War, and Civic Righteousness

(p.58) 3 “The Home Away from Home”
Black Women's Christian Activism

Betty Livingston Adams

NYU Press

This chapter focuses on the public roles black women seized in war and suffrage. Rebuffed by white middle-class women of the Woman’s Committee and the Red Cross and confronting structural inequalities exacerbated by World War I, black women navigated a minefield of labor and social discrimination, residential segregation, and sexual politics on the home front. They subverted the politics of home and reframed the politics of respectability to establish Hostess Houses, alternative YWCAs, homes for women and girls, and other initiatives, reform work in which they had been involved for years through their missionary societies and their secular Colored Women’s Clubs. Having transformed the state Woman Suffrage Association into a biracial sisterhood, after 1920 they embraced the ballot as an instrument of personal protection and civil rights and added politics to their service.

Keywords:   Colored Women’s Clubs, Hostess Houses, personal protection, politics of home, sexual politics, Woman Suffrage Association, World War I, Woman’s Committee, YWCA

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