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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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Creating Community in the Midwest

Creating Community in the Midwest


(p.50) 3. Creating Community in the Midwest
Fannie Barrier Williams

Wanda A. Hendricks

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines Fannie Barrier Williams' move to Chicago with her husband S. Laing Williams and how she built a strong local coalition that eased her entry into the segregated world of the white female club movement. It first considers how the Williams couple's introduction to Chicago's black community allowed Fannie secure a place in the privileged and cultured circle of black midwestern aristocracy. It then discusses Barrier Williams' meeting with Mary Jones, who together with her late husband John Jones advocated for black rights that benefited late-nineteenth-century migrants like Barrier Williams. It also eplores Barrier Williams' transition into the culture of the new generation of elite blacks, who faced far less racism than the so-called old guard had, and her involvement with the Prudence Crandall Literary Club and the Illinois Woman's Alliance. Finally, it describes the interracial cooperation that was displayed with the creation of the Provident Hospital and reflected the progressive nature of the Midwest.

Keywords:   racism, Fannie Barrier Williams, Chicago, S. Laing Williams, aristocracy, Mary Jones, black rights, elite blacks, Prudence Crandall Literary Club, Illinois Woman's Alliance

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