— Mary Washington College in the 1930s

Discussion 2/9/12

I thought one of the most interesting readings we had this week was Linda Gordon’s “Black and White Visions of Welfare.” It was really interesting to see the differences between race and gender activism for welfare. The focuses for both races of women were very different. While white women focused more cash relief and anti-child labor laws, in a more urban form, black women were focused more on their own community, in a much more rural community. Blacks focused on building up schools and trying to better their community as a whole, while whites wanted to better the conditions for the community. Much of the beginning of the essay talks about the African American welfare programs and organizations like NACW, but also the YWCA, the Young Women’s Christian Association, which had both white and black local groups. Gordon also talks about the shift for blacks from racial uplift to to integration. I thought this was interesting, how they had to come together to eventually fight for integration.