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Mary McLeod Bethune as Stateswoman: Race and Gender in New Deal and Human Rights Campaigns

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Abstract:

This paper examines the role of Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955), a leader of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Black Cabinet (a key advisory group on race relations), in developing job projects and relief work for African Americans during the New Dear Era. Bethune’s association with Eleanor Roosevelt allowed her access to the Oval Office in ways that very few other black Americans had in the 1930s and 1940s. In fact, Bethune was one of two African Americans who regularly met with and advised FDR. Both Bethune and ER brought information linking race and poverty that FDR had initially overlooked while developing economic recovery programs for Depression-era Americans.
Bethune used her columns in newspapers, such as the Chicago Defender, to bring attention to the intersections of race and poverty that happened during the Great Depression. Bethune’s persuasive pen not only brought more attention to race issues during the Roosevelt Administration, her influence helped to usher a shift among black voters from loyalty to the old Republican party Lincoln to the new Democratic party of FDR. Although historians of early twentieth-century America have acknowledged the importance of the role of the Black Cabinet as an advisory group to FDR, the influence of Bethune has yet to be examined. In fact, scholars often simply focus on Bethune as an educator and black women’s club leader, but stop short of explaining her influence on changing federal policy and legislation during the New Deal and her ongoing efforts to frame civil rights as human rights.
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Association:
Name: 95th Annual Convention
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http://www.asalh.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p435183_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Warren, Kim. "Mary McLeod Bethune as Stateswoman: Race and Gender in New Deal and Human Rights Campaigns" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p435183_index.html>

APA Citation:

Warren, K. "Mary McLeod Bethune as Stateswoman: Race and Gender in New Deal and Human Rights Campaigns" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p435183_index.html

Publication Type: Invited Paper
Abstract: This paper examines the role of Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955), a leader of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Black Cabinet (a key advisory group on race relations), in developing job projects and relief work for African Americans during the New Dear Era. Bethune’s association with Eleanor Roosevelt allowed her access to the Oval Office in ways that very few other black Americans had in the 1930s and 1940s. In fact, Bethune was one of two African Americans who regularly met with and advised FDR. Both Bethune and ER brought information linking race and poverty that FDR had initially overlooked while developing economic recovery programs for Depression-era Americans.
Bethune used her columns in newspapers, such as the Chicago Defender, to bring attention to the intersections of race and poverty that happened during the Great Depression. Bethune’s persuasive pen not only brought more attention to race issues during the Roosevelt Administration, her influence helped to usher a shift among black voters from loyalty to the old Republican party Lincoln to the new Democratic party of FDR. Although historians of early twentieth-century America have acknowledged the importance of the role of the Black Cabinet as an advisory group to FDR, the influence of Bethune has yet to be examined. In fact, scholars often simply focus on Bethune as an educator and black women’s club leader, but stop short of explaining her influence on changing federal policy and legislation during the New Deal and her ongoing efforts to frame civil rights as human rights.


Similar Titles:
Developing Human Rights Norms? Gender, Human Rights and Globalization

Writing Race into the New Deal: Mary McLeod Bethune’s Rhetorical Persuasion


 
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