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Women and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965$
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Davis W. Houck and David E. Dixon

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781604731071

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604731071.001.0001

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Agnes E. Meyer

Agnes E. Meyer

November 17, 1956, National Council of Negro Women, Washington, D.C.

(p.41) Agnes E. Meyer
Women and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965

Davis W. Houck

David E. Dixon

University Press of Mississippi

Born in 1887 in New York City, Agnes Elizabeth Ernst Meyer lived an extraordinary life as a journalist, philanthropist, civil rights activist, wife, and mother. In 1958, Meyer and her husband Eugene established the Agnes and Eugene Meyer Fund to support professors of Barnard College, where she pursued her education. The following year, Agnes founded the Urban Service Corps, a volunteer mentoring program designed to assist school children in Washington D.C. In 1960, she founded the National Committee for the Support of the Public Schools, serving as chair until her death on September 2, 1970. On November 17, 1956, Agnes E. Meyer addressed the National Council of Negro Women in Washington D.C. This chapter presents Meyer’s speech, in which she called on the women in attendance to take a more rational approach in overcoming the racial obstacles confronting the nation. Meyer criticized racism propagated by unthinking tribalism and sought to counter it with unstinting scientific analysis leavened with humanitarianism.

Keywords:   civil rights, Barnard College, Agnes E. Meyer, National Council of Negro Women, Washington D.C., speech, women, racism, tribalism, humanitarianism

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