- A lifelong African American activist, Fannie Barrier Williams made history as a controversial reformer and writer in an era fraught with racial discrimination and injustice. Williams first came to prominence when protesting the exclusion of African American women from the 1893 Columbian Exposition and later worked in support of Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois. In her speeches, essays, and articles, Williams argued for an interracial worldview - a third way that involved neither accommodationism nor rejectionism. Committed to aiding and educating Chicago's urban poor, Williams played a central and continuous role in the development of the Frederick Douglass Center, which she called "the black Hull House." An active member of the NAACP and the National Urban League, she fought a long and successful battle to become the first African American admitted to the influential Chicago Women's Club. Her efforts to promote the well-being of African American women brought her into close contact with such influential women as Celia Parker Woolley, Jane Addams, Susan B. Anthony, and Ida B. Wells-Barnett.
Williams's writings illuminate the difficulties of African American women in the Progressive Era. She frankly denounced white men's sexual and economic victimization of black women and condemned the complicity of religious and political leaders in the immorality of segregation. Citing the discrimination that crushed the spirits of African American women, Williams called for educational and professional progress for African Americans through the transformation of white society. Accompanied by Deegan's introduction and detailed annotations, Williams's perceptive writings on race relations, women's rights, economic justice, and the role of African American women are as fresh today as when they were written.
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(230mm x 161mm x 23mm)
Northern Illinois University Press
Publisher: Northern Illinois University Press
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Author Biography - Fannie Barrier Williams
MARY JO DEEGAN is Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.