Chapter

Making a Way Out of No Way

MICHAEL KEITH HONEY

in Black Workers Remember

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2000 | ISBN: 9780520217744
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520928060 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520217744.003.0004
Making a Way Out of No Way

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This chapter talks about a society that devalued the work of African Americans, and in which the survival of black families depended to a great extent on the labor of black women. Not only did black women bear primary responsibility for raising children, they also worked outside of the home in far higher proportions than did white women; going back to slavery, they had no choice. By excluding black men from decent jobs and holding their wages below subsistence levels, segregation forced black women into the waged economy, at even lower wages, in order to support their families. A brilliant cadre of “middle-class” (and usually far from wealthy) black women teachers, entrepreneurs, journalists, and women’s club leaders developed organizations to lift black families and communities out of the mire imposed by white supremacy.

Keywords: African Americans; black families; waged economy; middle class; slavery

Chapter.  17905 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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