How Did Rank and File Women Construct the "New Negro Woman" within
the Universal Negro Improvement Association in the 1920s?

Abstract

   This document project addresses the ways in which ordinary women in the Universal Negro Improvement Association constructed the "New Negro Woman," a term that embodied their efforts to expand their limited opportunities in and out of the organization. Largely through an analysis of "Our Women and What They Think," the women's page of The Negro World, this project reveals how many female Garveyites defined themselves, and struggled to obtain respect in a male-dominated organization. The "New Negro Woman," echoing the rhetoric of the Harlem Renaissance or "New Negro Movement," often resisted the strict gender dichotomy in the organization and in the community at large. The "New Negro Woman" desired to be considered equal to her male counterpart and fought to do so using every available means in the Universal Negro Improvement Association during the 1920s.


 

   

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