By Joan Marie Johnson
Joan Marie Johnson investigates how the need to create a particular southern id stimulated black and white clubwomen on the flip of the twentieth century and inspired their participation in efforts at social reform. frequently doing related paintings for various purposes, either teams emphasised historical past, reminiscence, and schooling.
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Extra info for Southern Ladies, New Women: Race, Region, and Clubwomen in South Carolina, 1890-1930
Their own identity was intertwined with Southern history, the meanings of their own memories of the antebellum South and the War tied to a collective memory of the past. ”12 Such work came naturally to these daughters of Confederate veterans. Women were drawn to memorial and historical work in part because they directed much of their work to children; they were concerned with the transmission of identity to the next generation. As women and as mothers, this teaching was a natural fit. “A Southern Woman,” writing for the Keystone, argued that if Southern values were to be preserved, “it is from the daughters of the South that the inspiration must come.
Although a few may have adopted maternalist language as a conscious strategy to disarm their opponents, most clubwomen simply used the language that came naturally to them. They did not have to act the part of the lady— they were ladies. Although seeking to broaden their opportunities, they did not challenge the fundamental gender hierarchy, nor did they question the Southern economic system. Even so, when clubwomen attempted more far-reaching social reforms, especially those that required state funding or threatened the New South industrialization program, they encountered resistance from male politicians.
The needs of the race, coupled with women’s history of wage labor and a strategy of uplift that emphasized the home, limited the need for them to defend themselves to other blacks against overstepping the boundaries of acceptable womanly behavior. No evidence survives of tension over clubwork between clubwomen and male relatives in South Carolina. Their defense of their own morality, necessary to refute charges from whites of immorality, also reminded black men of their womanliness. Given their relative freedom from gender tensions, it should not be surprising that African American women starred in the early history of the suffrage movement in South Carolina.