African American Women and Christian Activism: New York's Black YWCA, 1905-1945 / Edition 1

African American Women and Christian Activism: New York's Black YWCA, 1905-1945 / Edition 1

by Judith Weisenfeld
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674007786

ISBN-13: 9780674007789

Pub. Date: 01/28/1998

Publisher: Harvard University Press

The middle class black women who people Judith Weisenfeld's history were committed both to social action and to institutional expression of their religious convictions. Their story provides an illuminating perspective on the varied forces working to improve quality of life for African Americans in crucial times.

When undertaking to help young women

Overview

The middle class black women who people Judith Weisenfeld's history were committed both to social action and to institutional expression of their religious convictions. Their story provides an illuminating perspective on the varied forces working to improve quality of life for African Americans in crucial times.

When undertaking to help young women migrating to and living alone in New York, Weisenfeld's protagonists chose to work within a national evangelical institution. Their organization of a black chapter of the Young Women's Christian Association in 1905 was a clear step toward establishing a suitable environment for young working women; it was also an expression of their philosophy of social uplift. And predictably it was the beginning of an equal rights struggle--to work as equals with white women activists. Growing and adapting as New York's black community evolved over the decades, the black YWCA assumed a central role both in the community's religious life and as a training ground for social action. Weisenfeld's analysis of the setbacks and successes closes with the National YWCA's vote in 1946 to adopt an interracial charter and move toward integration of local chapters, thus opening the door to a different set of challenges for a new generation of black activists.

Weisenfeld's account gives a vibrant picture of African American women as significant actors in the life of the city. And it bears telling witness to the religious, class, gender, and racial negotiations so often involved in American social reform movements.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674007789
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
01/28/1998
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
231
Product dimensions:
6.44(w) x 9.54(h) x 0.84(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction

"Bend the Tree While It Is Young": Institutional Alliances/Institutional Appropriations

African American Women and the Politics of Racial Uplift

YWCA Social Reform Work

African American Women and the National YWCA

"If One Life Shines": African American Women in Networks

Laying an Activist Foundation Conflicting Visions

Conflicting Visions

"The Home-Made Girl": Constructing a Mobile Private Space

Racially Charged Public Space

Racialized and Gendered Public Space

At "Home" in New York

Performing the Private in Public

"We Are It": Building on the Urban Frontier

"Harlem Rides the Range"

Toward a "Room " of Their Own

Internal Frontiers

"Interwoven Destinies": Wars at Home and Abroad

The Crisis of the World

"The Girl You Leave Behind"

An Urban Homefiront

"A Grand Place": Black America's Community Center

A Community Center

Educating for Christian Democracy

Christianizing City Politics

Girls' Work

Leadership Training

"Against the Tide": Interracial Work and Racial Conflict

Notes

Index

Abbreviations

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