By Judith Weisenfeld

the center classification black girls who humans Judith Weisenfeld's background have been devoted either to social motion and to institutional expression in their non secular convictions. Their tale presents an illuminating point of view at the assorted forces operating to enhance caliber of existence for African american citizens in an important occasions.

whilst venture to assist younger ladies migrating to and dwelling by myself in long island, Weisenfeld's protagonists selected to paintings inside a countrywide evangelical establishment. Their association of a black bankruptcy of the younger Women's Christian organization in 1905 used to be a transparent step towards setting up an appropriate surroundings for younger operating girls; it was once additionally an expression in their philosophy of social uplift. And predictably it used to be the start of an equivalent rights struggle--to paintings as equals with white ladies activists. transforming into and adapting as New York's black neighborhood advanced over the many years, the black YWCA assumed a important function either within the community's non secular existence and as a coaching flooring for social motion. Weisenfeld's research of the setbacks and successes closes with the nationwide YWCA's vote in 1946 to undertake an interracial constitution and circulate towards integration of neighborhood chapters, hence establishing the door to another set of demanding situations for a brand new iteration of black activists.

Weisenfeld's account provides a colourful photo of African American ladies as major actors within the lifetime of the town. And it bears telling witness to the non secular, type, gender, and racial negotiations so usually excited by American social reform hobbies.

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Extra info for African American Women and Christian Activism: New York's Black YWCA, 1905-1945

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An editorial in the New York Freeman (one of New York's leading black newspapers at the end of the nineteenth century), addressing the intended move of St. Philip's from Mulberry Street to a location farther uptown (eventually to 25th Street in 1889), underscored the importance of this particular church as an emblem of the strivings and mobility of black Americans. Nevertheless, the Freeman criticized its classbased exclusion of some black New Yorkers. But in making this change to a more densely populated centre St.

It would not be the last time. The conflict on that particular January day arose from a dispute over the very terms on which African American women would affiliate with the YWCA. At a meeting held at the Mt. Olivet Baptist Church on January 18, a group of eighty-five African American women formed a Young Women's Christian Association to benefit black women in the city. Carrie T. King, a representative of the group, approached the 15th Street Association,1 one of New York's major white YWCA organizations, to request the status of an affiliated branch, emphasizing that their primary aim was to gain not financial support but rather a connection with an established YWCA.

Paul, Poughkeepsie, St. Louis, and Kansas City. , "Colored Young Women's Christian Association," founded in 1905, the internal contradictions of the "branch relationship" policy made the ideology behind it patently clear. This particular YWCA emerged from The Booklovers, a reading club founded in 1894 and consisting of twelve of Washington's black elite women. Although the club engaged primarily in discussions of European literature and culture and maintained a membership of twelve until the late 1930s, some of the members founded a YWCA to engage in work with the community's young working women.

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