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Class and Gender and Early Civil Rights

Class and Gender and Early Civil Rights

(p.46) Chapter Two Class and Gender and Early Civil Rights
Borders of Equality
Lee Sartain
University Press of Mississippi

In recent years, debates over civil rights have focused on gender and class. Gender is key to understanding the branch dynamics and the shape of women leaders’s civil rights activism in Baltimore. This chapter examines the black middle-class approach to NAACP campaigns in Baltimore before Brown v. Board of Education (1954), including the picketing of Baltimore theaters, with particular reference to gender issues. It considers how the use of language and imagery in NAACP civil rights campaigns reveals how gender was used to illicit sympathy for those victimized by the system of racism, especially black women and girls. The chapter also looks at the tenure of Lillie Lottier, the Baltimore NAACP’s first female president, who was appointed in 1924.

Keywords:   civil rights, gender, class, women, activism, Baltimore, middle class, picketing, theaters, Lillie Lottier

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