Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-x

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Introduction

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pp. 1-14

To research African American women’s roles in the civil rights struggle before 1945 is, in part, a deductive exercise. The few firsthand accounts of the time only hint at women’s roles. Such a case in point is Rev. John H. Scott’s Witness to the Truth: My Struggle for Human Rights in Louisiana, ...

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ONE: Weapons of the Utmost Value: NAACP Organizational History, 1909–1945

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pp. 15-38

Organized in 1909 the NAACP developed its organizational structures and campaigning techniques over time. The group’s specific issues and concerns directly affected these structures, but they also reflected the social background and personalities of its personnel. ...

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TWO: The Sympathy of Women: Black Women’s Involvement in Louisiana Civil Rights up to 1920

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pp. 39-56

Throughout the nineteenth century middle-class African American women and men were instrumental in organizing benevolent societies with the aim of providing welfare services and education to their members and families and, increasingly, to a wider social setting. ...

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THREE: Destined to Bring Splendid Results: NAACP Women’s Auxiliaries and Networks, 1921–1945

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pp. 57-81

The first full decade of the NAACP in Louisiana saw its organizational arrangements established along the lines of generally accepted gender practices. Black women worked for the NAACP as generators of ideas for fundraising and attracting other members to the organization and also acted as ...

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FOUR: God’s Valiant Minority: Teachers and Civil Rights

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pp. 82-98

Teachers were the most natural constituency of the NAACP. Educators had stable jobs, earned a reasonable wage, lived and worked at the center of civic life, and were seen as being central to the general advancement of the entire black community. In 1940 there were over 4,000 black teachers ...

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FIVE: Leaders Who Persevere: Elected Officials

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pp. 99-119

In the years up to 1945, women were elected to very few positions in Louisiana’s NAACP branches, certainly not proportional to their membership numbers, and none became presidents or treasurers. Women served mainly as vice-presidents, secretaries, and assistant-secretaries. ...

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SIX: We Are but Americans: Miss Georgia M. Johnson

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pp. 120-136

In stark contrast to Mrs. D. J. Dupuy of Baton Rouge, Miss Georgia M. Johnson of Alexandria, Louisiana, helps to portray the expected role of NAACP women not because of her conformity to social and gender expectations but by many of the organizational taboos she breached. ...

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Conclusion

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pp. 137-144

Black women’s work in the NAACP was the foundation upon which the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s was built. Women activists drew together broad social and professional networks under the auspices of a committed integrationist and politically minded association. ...

Appendixes

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pp. 145-156

Notes

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pp. 157-188

Bibliography

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pp. 189-204

Index

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pp. 205-212