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

Document 8

The following article appeared in Anti-Caste, a British periodical:

      Of the fact that the position taken on the race question by the W.C.T.U. fails to satisfy the more sensitive and self-respecting coloured women (and men) there are abundant and, as we think, hopeful evidences. . . .

      Miss Willard has carefully avoided saying anything which was calculated to arouse a feeling against her in the South. She says the national W.C.T.U. allows separate state organizations in the south (condones the drawing of a colour line), and attempts to justify this by saying that those of the two races in that section of the country desire it. One race, Southern whites, do without a doubt desire this, but we question the truthfulness of the part of her statement which has relation to the desires of our people of intelligence there. . . .

      We hold that the error lies in this 'allowing' and condoning of injustice. How long will the Northern members of the W.C.T.U. fail to see that this insistence on Caste separation [division based upon race] on the part of their white sisters at the South is not only an infliction of personal humiliation and injustice on every coloured woman against who it is applied, but an attempt to evade and repudiate the very principles and spirit of Christianity.

-- Excerpt from "The WCTU and the Colour Question," Anti-Caste, March 1895

13. What is the injustice this article highlights?

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14.  According to the article, how did Willard justify the drawing of a color line?

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To Part B

 

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