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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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Black Girlhood in Early-Twentieth-Century Black Conduct Books

Black Girlhood in Early-Twentieth-Century Black Conduct Books

(p.146) 5. Black Girlhood in Early-Twentieth-Century Black Conduct Books
Black Girlhood in the Nineteenth Century

Nazera Sadiq Wright

University of Illinois Press

This chapter analyzes representations of black girlhood in early-twentieth-century conduct books written by African Americans by focusing on several selections from Floyd's Flowers: Or, Duty and Beauty for Colored Children. First published in 1905, Floyd's Flowers is an instructional manual for black children written by educator and activist Silas X. Floyd and illustrated by artist and educator John Henry Adams. It explores Floyd's ideas about the purpose of education for black girls, how girls should behave in public, and the roles parents should be preparing girls for at the turn of the twentieth century. This chapter first considers the discourse of conduct books before turning to Floyd's example of how black girls could contribute to racial progress through proper education, along with his ideals of beauty. It also highlights the ways black women differed from black men in imagining girlhood after emancipation, especially regarding black girls' duty to the race, to their families, and to themselves.

Keywords:   black girlhood, conduct books, Floyd's Flowers, black children, Silas X. Floyd, education, black girls, beauty, black women, race

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