Chapter

Social Activities of the Black Elite “It was a breath of life to me”

Linda O. McMurry

in To Keep the Waters Troubled

Published in print December 2000 | ISBN: 9780195139273
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199848911 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195139273.003.0003
Social Activities of the Black Elite “It was a breath of life to me”

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This chapter discusses Ida B. Wells's teaching career in Memphis and her participation in the social activities of the black aristocrats of the city. Becoming a teacher in the public schools of Memphis immediately catapulted Wells into the ranks of the black elite. However, due to various financial obligations, she did not have economic resources equal to her social status and discovered that membership in the elite brought burdens as well as blessings. During her decade in Memphis, Wells experienced both joyous excitement and self-doubting despair on the road to womanhood.

Keywords: economic resources; social activities; black aristocrats; Memphis; womanhood

Chapter.  7477 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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