This article explores the connections between African American and white women's political agency, commercialized leisure, and the gender- and race-based politics of World War I in Atlanta, Georgia. The link between these issues was a general concern among male and female political leaders, clubwomen, and reformers with women's public presence in the city during wartime. Whereas white male leaders proposed to manage women by curtailing their civil rights, clubwomen created more benevolent methods of "girl work." African American and white clubwomen took advantage of the federal governments' efforts to mobilize women and created new opportunities to advance their visions of community order and female citizenship. Both groups of women targeted commercialized leisure as a hazard of the city, yet the politics of race in Atlanta ensured that black and white women's strategies and experiences would emphasize different issues and lead to different results.


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pp. 92-115
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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