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Fannie Barrier WilliamsCrossing the Borders of Region and Race$
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Wanda A. Hendricks

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038112

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038112.001.0001

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A Distinctive Generation

A Distinctive Generation

“The Colored Woman’s Era”

(p.93) 5. A Distinctive Generation
Fannie Barrier Williams

Wanda A. Hendricks

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the unprecedented growth in activity and the coalescence of women's local and regional clubs in the early 1890s, a period that also saw Fannie Barrier Williams increase her reform activities in the black community and with the black women who had come to her aid. It begins with a discussion of Barrier Williams' involvement in the women's equality movement, citing in particular her membership in the Colored Women's League in Chicago that ushered in what she later referred to as the beginnings of “a reformatory movement” created entirely by women. It then considers how the push for political equality linked club women in Chicago to black club women across the country, along with Barrier Williams' belief in the ballot as a means of maintaining and improving black women's constitutional rights as well as her belief in black women's role in guiding the progress of the race in the new century. The chapter shows how Barrier Williams emerged as a leading representative and promoter of reforms and women's activism in the West/Midwest.

Keywords:   black women, Fannie Barrier Williams, reforms, women's equality, Colored Women's League, Chicago, political equality, club women, race, women's activism

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