Against the Tide: Women Reformers in American Society

By Paul A. Cimbala; Randall M. Miller | Go to book overview

moved to Washington, D. C., where from 1872 to 1884 she served as principal of a black school.

Cary continued to express her views in the press and on the lecture circuit. While she no longer advocated emigration, she held to her views about black advancement, black equality, and woman's suffrage while also addressing the need for black women to become more involved in the public life of their communities. She continued to maintain a full lecture schedule until her health prevented such activity, but while doing so, Cary remembered the youthful criticism she had leveled at black conventioneers in 1849 to "do more, and talk less." She testified before the House Judiciary Committee in favor of expanding the scope of the Reconstruction amendments to include women. In March 1874 she joined a group of women that unsuccessfully attempted to register to vote. In 1880 she founded the Colored Women's Progressive Franchise Program, an organization that was true to the black abolitionist legacy; while the organization diverged from her earlier integrationist views (as did her position at a black school, which perhaps suggests her recognition of the unhappy facts of American life and the need for black organizations to make headway in a racist society), it did present a multi-faceted program for black advancement. And in 1883 she received a law degree from Howard University. Rheumatism and cancer finally stopped Mary Ann Shadd Cary from "doing." She died in Washington, D. C., on 5 June 1893, having lived long enough to see the hopes and expectations of black abolitionism stymied for the time being by white America's abandonment of its black citizens. After a lifetime of activism, there was still much left to do.

Mary Ann Shadd Cary placed great demands on black Americans. Her expectations were high and her criticism of those who failed to accept her challenge was unforgiving. While recognizing the inequities of the society in which they lived, she prodded blacks on to take control of their destiny and to claim what was rightfully theirs. She had, however, never asked anyone to do what she was not willing to do herself.


NOTES
1.
North Star, 23 March, 1849, reel 5, George E. Carter and C. Peter Ripley, eds., Black Abolitionist Papers, 1830-1865 (17 reels, New York, 1981; Ann Arbor, Mich., 1984) (hereinafter referred to as Black Abolitionist Papers). The Black Abolitionist Papers Project collected almost 14,000 documents produced by approximately 300 African- American men and women. A selection of these documents has been annotated and published in C. Peter Ripley et al., eds., The Black Abolitionist Papers ( 5 vols., Chapel Hill, N.C., 1985- 1992). An even more select group of documents from the letterpress edition appears in C. Peter Ripley et al., eds., Witness for Freedom: African American Voices on Race, Slavery, and Emancipation (Chapel Hill, 1993). The Black Abolitionist Papers in its various forms are critical for understanding the movement. Peter Ripley's introductions to the various published volumes were essential in shaping my views of black abolitionism, as was the time I spent working with him on the Canadian volume,

-38-

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Against the Tide: Women Reformers in American Society
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Catharine Beecher and Domestic Relations 1
  • Notes 16
  • Bibliography 17
  • Mary Ann Shadd Cary and Black Abolitionism 19
  • Notes 38
  • Bibliography 40
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Woman's Rights Movement 41
  • Notes 51
  • Bibliography 53
  • Dorothea Dix and Mental Health Reform 55
  • Notes 69
  • Bibliography 71
  • Frances Willard and Temperance 73
  • Notes 82
  • Bibliography 83
  • Jane Addams and the Settlement House Movement 85
  • Notes 97
  • Bibliography 98
  • Ida Wells-Barnett and the African-American Anti-Lynching Campaign 99
  • Notes 110
  • Bibliography 111
  • Jessie Daniel Ames and the White Women's Anti- Lynching Campaign 113
  • Notes 123
  • Bibliography 123
  • Margaret Sanger and the Birth Control Movement 125
  • Notes 136
  • Bibliography 137
  • Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement 139
  • Notes 151
  • Bibliography 152
  • Betty Friedan and the National Organization for Women 153
  • Notes 164
  • Bibliography 165
  • Index 167
  • About the Editors and Contributors 171
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