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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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“Unholy and Unchristian Attitude”

“Unholy and Unchristian Attitude”

Interracial Dialogue in Segregated Spaces, 1920–1937

(p.82) 4 “Unholy and Unchristian Attitude”
Black Women's Christian Activism

Betty Livingston Adams

NYU Press

This chapter examines newly enfranchised black women’s public presence and Christian activism in the interwar years. No longer fighting a Southern problem, they focused their New Negro militancy on economic and social discrimination, health and housing, state and mob violence, and the abuse of black women. As white supremacy outpaced interracial dialogue, and the Great Depression increased segregated space in the New Jersey suburb’s schools and YMCA, black women tried to arouse the consciences of white women by calling for a united womanhood in support of the NAACP, Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill, Anti-Lynching Crusade, and Church Women’s Committee Interracial Movement. Despite the Northern expansion of segregation and the Ku Klux Klan, the suppression of Southern black women’s votes, and increased racial violence, few white suburbanites considered these legitimate issues of religion, feminism, or maternalism or pressed for social justice across the color line.

Keywords:   Anti-Lynching Crusade, Church Women’s Committee Interracial Movement, color line, Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill, feminism, interwar years, Ku Klux Klan, maternalism, NAACP, New Negro

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