To the Home Page of the National Humanities Center Web Site National Humanities Center Toolbox Library: Primary Resources in U.S. History and Literature  contact us | site guide | search 
Toolbox Library, primary resources thematically organized with notes and discussion questionsOnline Seminars, professional development seminars for history and literature teachersThe Making of African American Identity: Volume II, 1865-1917
The Making of African American Identity: Volume II, 1865-1917
Topic: FreedomTopic: IdentityTopic: InstitutionsTopic: PoliticsTopic: Forward
Topic: Institutions
Toolbox Overview: The Making of African American Identity: Volume II, 1865-1917
Resource Menu: Institutions
Text 1. Power
Text 2. Associations (I)
» Reading Guide
•  Link


Text 3. Associations (II)
Text 4. Education
Text 5. Leadership
Text 6. Religion
Text 7. Business
Text 8. Family
RESOURCE MENU » Reading Guide Link

Reading Guide
2.  Associations (I)
- "The Benevolent and Charitable Societies of Cincinnati, Ohio," from The Proceedings of the Semi-Centenary Celebration of the African Methodist Episcopal Church of Cincinnati, 1874
- "Our Women's Clubs" (12 Sept. 1903) and "Women's Clubs" (6 August 1904), Cleveland Journal
    Women's Clubs

During this period, among whites and blacks, benevolent and charitable societies, especially women's clubs, arose to address the problems of a rapidly industrializing society. Among African Americans these organizations were particularly important. Scanning the list of black societies in Cincinnati—it runs for seven pages with a lot of white space—will give you a sense of the typical causes the African American societies championed. On the list you will find a sewing circle, probably similar to the one described in the Hopkins's chapter below. The two articles from the Cleveland Journal, a black newspaper, suggest the tone of the societies and illustrate the interlocking themes of racial solidarity, identity, respectability, self-confidence, self-reliance, and general betterment that characterize virtually all black institutions at this time. 9 pages.


Discussion questions
  1. What do the names of the societies suggest?
  2. What do the societies suggest about the role of African American churches at this time?
  3. What do the Cleveland Journal articles suggest about the role of women in the African American community at this time?
  4. What image of women's clubs does the article convey?

» Link


Topic Framing Questions
  •  What roles did institutions play in African American life at this time?
  •  In what ways did institutions shape and reflect African American identity?




Toolbox: The Making of African American Identity: Volume II, 1865-1917
Freedom | Identity | Institutions | Politics | Forward


Contact Us | Site Guide | Search


Toolbox Library: Primary Resources in U.S. History and Literature
National Humanities Center
Web site comments and questions, contact: lmorgan@nationalhumanitiescenter.org
Copyright © 2004 National Humanities Center. All rights reserved.
Revised: February 2004
nationalhumanitiescenter.org