| Part A | Document 1 | Document 2 | Document 3 | Document 4 | Document 5 | Document 6 | Document 7 | Document 8 | Part B |

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

Part B: Essay

Directions:  Write a well-organized essay that includes an introduction, several paragraphs, and a conclusion.  Use evidence from at least five documents in the body of the essay.  Support your response with relevant facts, examples, and details.  Include additional outside information.

Historical Context:

The Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), the largest women's organization in the United States in the late nineteenth century, brought women together under a broad reform umbrella. The WCTU aimed primarily at eliminating the use of alcohol through legislation prohibiting the making and consuming of alcohol, the education of the public regarding the evils of drink, and therefore make family life more safe for women. Led by Frances Willard for almost two decades, the WCTU appealed across religious, class, and racial lines, and became the first national women's reform organization that welcomed the support and efforts of middle-class African-American women. The Union set up a Department of Colored Work offering black women opportunities to participate in an interracial organization. However, despite the growth of largely African-American branches in the South and the participation of African Americans in northeastern and midwestern locals, relations across the color line within the WCTU were at times plagued with conflict and friction.

Task:

Using information from the documents and your knowledge of United States history, answer the questions that follow each document in Part A.  Your answers to the questions will help you write the essay in Part B, in which you will be asked to:

  • Identify and explain two reasons why African-American women desired to join the WCTU

  • Compare and contrast the reasons why African-American women and white women joined the WCTU

  • Identify and discuss two methods the WCTU used to recuit African-American women

  • Identify and discuss two conflicts that arose between African-American women and the white leaders of the WCTU

 

Guidelines:

In your essay, be sure to:

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