African American Women and Christian Activism: New York's by Judith Weisenfeld

By Judith Weisenfeld

the center category black girls who humans Judith Weisenfeld's heritage have been devoted either to social motion and to institutional expression in their spiritual convictions. Their tale presents an illuminating point of view at the diverse forces operating to enhance caliber of lifestyles for African americans in the most important occasions.

while project to assist younger women migrating to and dwelling on my own in long island, Weisenfeld's protagonists selected to paintings inside of 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 used to be 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. growing to be and adapting as New York's black neighborhood developed over the a long time, the black YWCA assumed a relevant position either within the community's spiritual existence and as a coaching floor 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 stream towards integration of neighborhood chapters, therefore establishing the door to another set of demanding situations for a brand new new release of black activists.

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

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Du Bois, and Booker T. Washington. T h e Free Kindergarten sought to provide children a refuge from the streets, an early start on the skills required for school, a free lunch, and warm clothing. It quickly included families in its work. In 1900 Cordelia Ray wrote: T h e teachers find that they have to deal with a different class of children from those previously taught. A great lack of home training is apparent among them, and they have been accustomed to spend their time mostly on the streets.

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.

32 While conflict also sometimes emerged in these moments of cooperation, joint efforts between black and white women in religious contexts during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries proved significant. The YWCA served as one of the central organizational structures in which women from varied backgrounds met through a bond of dedication to Christian service. YWCA Social Reform Work The Young Women's Christian Association in the United States had been functioning for almost a half century by the time African American women in New York City founded a YWCA in 1905.

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