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African-American Women in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union

Document 4


As the WCTU's Superintendent of Work among Colored People, Mrs. Charles Kinney of Michigan had responsibility for organizing among African Americans in both the North and South.

      I, instead, at once set about a vigorous correspondence [letter writing], and first of all, tried to enlist the aid of educators -- presidents and professors in colleges for colored people, editors, ministers, and women who are proficient at the South in our phase of the work. . . .

      There are the same needs in this as in all our distinctively temperance work--money, workers, organization. One difficulty as yet is reaching the intelligent and educated, those who are capable of conducting the work among themselves. This feature must improve with the large number who are annually sent out from the schools for colored people, with the advantages they now possess for a higher education and the decided temperance sentiment.

-- -- Excerpt from Mrs. Charles Kinney, "Report of
Superintendent of Work Among Colored People," 1882

6. Who did Kinney target in her attempts to recruit African-American women to the temperance cause?

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7.  Explain why she targeted this group of people.

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