Chapter

Introduction

Kate Dossett

in Bridging Race Divides

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780813031408
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039282 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813031408.003.0001
Introduction

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This book examines the involvement of women in the fight against racism and segregation which was prevalent in the United States during the early twentieth century. While criticisms on the perceived dichotomy of the stand on racism and segregation of African Americans from the Caucasians existed, this book does not provide any suggestion of the advantage of integrationalism or black nationalism over one another, rather it looks on these two perceived different stands on race divide as a complex, rather than dichotomous, and multiple, rather that a singular, strategy; and it sees interdependent, rather than mutually exclusive, philosophies against racial discrimination. In this book, the involvement of prominent black women, their contributions and their strategies that helped define black feminist thought and curb the racial issue, is examined and analyzed. This book focuses on the political thought and activism exhibited by black women between the founding of the National Association of Colored Women in 1896 and the National Council of Negro Women in 1935. Evaluation of the literary endeavors, the activism, and entrepreneurship of some of the prominent women showed that black women challenged the existing dichotomy on the stand against racial discrimination, developed the black feminist tradition, and shaped black nationalism within the feminist framework. Among the studied black women include clubwomen Margaret Murray Washington, Nannie hellen Burroughs and Mary McLeod Bethune; black women leaders Eva Bowles and Cecilia Cabaniss; entrepreneurs Madam J. Walker and A'Lelia Walker; and writers such as Amy Jacques Garvey and Jessie Fauset.

Keywords: women; racism; segregation; United States; integrationalism; black nationalism; black women; black feminist thought; National Association of Colored Women

Chapter.  6221 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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