Northern Illinois University Press

The New Woman of Color

The Collected Writings of Fannie Barrier Williams, 1893–1918

Fannie Barrier Williams

Edited by Mary Jo Deegan

"A unique and important contribution to African American and women's history.... Highly recommended."—Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, Harvard University

"Deegan has provided a valuable service in collecting Williams's essays on race, gender, and civic engagement in Progressive America."—Journal of Illinois History

Fannie Barrier Williams made history as a controversial African American reformer in an era fraught with racial discrimination and injustice. She first came to prominence during the 1893 Columbian Exposition, where her powerful arguments for African American women's rights launched her career as a nationally renowned writer and orator. In her speeches, essays, and articles, Williams incorporated the ideas of Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois to create an interracial worldview dedicated to social equality and cultural harmony.

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.

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.

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 and fascinating today as when they were written.

(2002) 222 pp.
ISBN: 978-0-87580-293-0
cloth $42.00

Mary Jo Deegan is Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. She is author of Jane Addams and the Men of the Chicago School, 1892–1918 and has written numerous articles on sociology, women's history, and Chicago race relations.

Table of Contents

Editor's Preface
Introduction: "Fannie Barrier Williams and Her Life as a New Woman of Color, 1893-1918" by Mary Jo Deegan
Part I: Autobiography
1. A Northern Negro's Autobiography
Part II: African American Women
2. The Intellectual Progress of the Colored Women of the United States since the Emancipation Proclamation
3. Club Movement among Negro Women
4. The Club Movement among the Colored Women
5. The Proglem of Employment for Negro Women
6. The Woman's Part in a Man's Business
7. The Colored Girl
8. Colored Women of Chicago
Part III: African Americans
9. Religious Duty to the Negro
10. Industrial Education—Will It Solve the Negro Problem?
11. Do We Need Another Name?
12. The Negro and Public Opinion
13. The Smaller Economies
14. An Extension of the Conference Spirit
15. Vacation Values
16. Refining Influence of Art
Part IV: Social Settlements
17. The Need of Social Settlement Work for the City Negro
18. The Frederick Douglass Centre: A Question of Social Betterment and Not of Social Equality
19. Social Bonds in the "Black Belt" of Chicago: Negro Organizations and the New Spirit Pervading Them
20. The Frederick Douglass Center[: The Institutional Foundation]
21. A New Method of Dealing with the Race Problem
Part V: Eulogies
22. [In Memory of Philip D. Armour]
23. [Eulogoy of Susan B. Anthongy]
24. Report of Memorial Service for Rev. Celia Parker Woolley

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ISBN: 978-0-87580-293-0
cloth $42.00