Quote of the Week – from Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race, and Finding Home

Black women’s actual control over their homes, like that of all women, has been limited by gender conventions. Throughout history, and even today, economic conditions of most black families have meant that black women work outside the home. They have had to function in both the private and public sphere, without the benefit of protections afforded by race or gender in either. Nannie Helen Burroughs combined the thinking of both Adams and Washington, pursuing recognition outside the home of what women did inside the home. Due to their history and experiences, a safe and secure home for black American women is achieved differently than for black men and other women. Thus Burroughs viewed the home as a unique measure of equality that cannot be divorced from other measures. That perspective, as well as the fundamental social changes that the entire country was embarking on in the twentieth century, would shape how women and men of all races experienced day-to-day life, and Nannie Helen Burroughs knew that well.

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