Chapter

Black Nationalism and Interracialism in the Young Women's Christian Association

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/9780813031408.003.0003
Black Nationalism and Interracialism in the Young Women's Christian Association

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This chapter examines the Africa American women who worked within the assumed interracial Young Women's Christian Association at both the local Colored Branch in New York City and the national Colored Committee levels. This chapter examines how the national YWCA leader and the YWCA workers of one of the most prominent Colored Branches operated within the context of relationships with black women, white women, and the YWCA including their involvement in the World War I relief programs. While working at purportedly interracial organization of the YWCA, black women often pursued policies in line with the thought of racial solidarity and the black leadership of black women. Their experience in segregated organizations such as the YWCA provided grounds for them to develop black feminist ways of thinking. The unending disputes between black women and white women in the early decades of the twentieth century also pushed black women to develop black nationalist feminism and black separatism. The chapter also discusses the impact of the pressure brought about by the proposal of the YMCA on the national level to merge with the YWCA in the 1920s.

Keywords: YWCA; Colored Branch; black women; white women; racial solidarity; black leadership; black nationalist feminism; black separatism

Chapter.  18712 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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