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White and Black Womanhoods and Their Representations in 1920s American Advertising

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Date Issued:
2012
Abstract/Description:
The 1920s represented a time of tension in America. Throughout the decade, marginalized groups created competing versions of a proper citizen. African-Americans sought to be included in the national fabric. Racism encouraged solidarity, but black Americans did not agree upon one method for coping with, and hopefully ending, antiblack racism. White women enjoyed new privileges and took on more roles in the public sphere. Reactionary groups like the Ku Klux Klan found these new voices unsettling and worrisome and celebrated a white, native-born, Protestant and male vision of the American citizen. Simultaneously, technological innovations allowed for advertising to flourish and spread homogenizing information regarding race, gender, values and consumption across the nation. These advertisements selectively represented these changes by channeling them into pre-existing prescriptive ideology. Mainstream ads, which were created by whites for white audiences, reinforced traditional ideas regarding black men and women and white women's roles. Even if white women were featured using technology or wearing cosmetics, they were still featured in prescribed roles as housekeepers, wives and mothers who deferred to and relied on their husbands. Black women were featured in secondary roles, as servants or mammies, if at all. Concurrently, the black press created its own representations of women. Although these representations were complex and sometimes contradictory and had to reach multiple audiences, black-created ads featured women in a variety of roles, such as entertainers, mothers and business women, but never as mammies. Then, in a decade of increased tensions, white-created ads relied on traditional portrayals of women and African-Americans while black-designed ads offered more positive, although complicated, visions of womanhood.
Title: White and Black Womanhoods and Their Representations in 1920s American Advertising.
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Name(s): Turnbull, Lindsey, Author
Lester, Connie, Committee Chair
Sacher, John, Committee Member
Dandrow, Edward, Committee Member
, Committee Member
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2012
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The 1920s represented a time of tension in America. Throughout the decade, marginalized groups created competing versions of a proper citizen. African-Americans sought to be included in the national fabric. Racism encouraged solidarity, but black Americans did not agree upon one method for coping with, and hopefully ending, antiblack racism. White women enjoyed new privileges and took on more roles in the public sphere. Reactionary groups like the Ku Klux Klan found these new voices unsettling and worrisome and celebrated a white, native-born, Protestant and male vision of the American citizen. Simultaneously, technological innovations allowed for advertising to flourish and spread homogenizing information regarding race, gender, values and consumption across the nation. These advertisements selectively represented these changes by channeling them into pre-existing prescriptive ideology. Mainstream ads, which were created by whites for white audiences, reinforced traditional ideas regarding black men and women and white women's roles. Even if white women were featured using technology or wearing cosmetics, they were still featured in prescribed roles as housekeepers, wives and mothers who deferred to and relied on their husbands. Black women were featured in secondary roles, as servants or mammies, if at all. Concurrently, the black press created its own representations of women. Although these representations were complex and sometimes contradictory and had to reach multiple audiences, black-created ads featured women in a variety of roles, such as entertainers, mothers and business women, but never as mammies. Then, in a decade of increased tensions, white-created ads relied on traditional portrayals of women and African-Americans while black-designed ads offered more positive, although complicated, visions of womanhood.
Identifier: CFE0004612 (IID), ucf:49939 (fedora)
Note(s): 2012-12-01
M.A.
Arts and Humanities, History
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): 1920s -- 1920-1929 -- Advertising -- Chicago -- gender history -- history of race -- The Ku Klux Klan -- blackness -- whiteness -- racism -- womanhood -- African-American History -- Women's History -- Race -- Gender -- Class
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0004612
Restrictions on Access: campus 2013-12-15
Host Institution: UCF

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