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Black Girlhood in the Nineteenth Century$
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Nazera Sadiq Wright

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040573

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040573.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

“Teach Your Daughters”

“Teach Your Daughters”

Black Girlhood and Mrs. N. F. Mossell’s Advice Column in the New York Freeman

(p.93) 3. “Teach Your Daughters”
Black Girlhood in the Nineteenth Century

Nazera Sadiq Wright

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the life and work of African American writer Gertrude Bustill Mossell in the mid-1880s, with particular emphasis on her two-year editorship of the advice column, “Our Woman's Department,” for the New York Freeman. It first provides a background on the Bustill and Mossell family histories before discussing Mossell's editorship of the woman's column of the New York Freeman using her professional name, Mrs. N. F. Mossell. It then explains how Mossell used her column, published between 1886 and 1887, to promote models of public citizenship that widened the boundaries of black women's purposefulness in the postbellum period. Tackling topics ranging from child care to education, Mossell encouraged parents to view their daughters as useful members of the household and advised black girls to negotiate equal relationships with employers. The chapter also explores the complex and multivalent views of the present and future prospects for black girls Mossell offered in her columns.

Keywords:   black girls, Gertrude Bustill Mossell, advice column, New York Freeman, public citizenship, black women, child care, education

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