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    Black Women and Politics in New York City

    By: Julie A. Gallagher

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    "In this project Julie Gallagher documents a generation of black women who came to politics during the 1940s in New York City. Ada B. Jackson, Pauli Murray, Anna Arnold Hedgeman, Bessie Buchanan, Jeanne Noble, and Shirley Chisholm, among others, worked, studied, and lived in Harlem and Brooklyn. They seized the political opportunities generated by World War II and its aftermath and pursued new ways to redress the entrenched systems of oppression that denied them full rights of citizenship and human dignity. These included not only grassroots activism outside the halls of formal political power, but also efforts to gain insider status in the administrative state; the use of the United Nations; and an unprecedented number of campaigns for elected office. Theirs was a new politics and they waged their struggles not just for themselves, but also for their communities and for the broader ideals of equality. Gallagher traces these activists' paths from women's clubs and civic organizations to national politics: appointments to presidential commissions, congressional offices, and presidential candidacy. This study illustrates the kinds of political changes women helped bring about, underscores the boundaries of what was possible vis-à-vis the state and examining how race, gender and the structure of the state itself shape outcomes"--

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