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Draughon Seminars in State & Local History

September 28, 2021 @ 10:00 am

“Come Now, and Let Us Reason Together”: Cooperative Extension Clubs Empowerment of African American Farm Women and Girls, 1928-1965 with Dr. Shari L. Williams.

African American women played a crucial role in the Black Freedom Struggle in the United States, and one significant but overlooked contribution of their leadership development was participation in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Negro Cooperative Extension home demonstration and 4-H clubs. In addition to learning skills related to cooking, cleaning, canning, sewing and other domestic chores, many assumed leadership roles in Alabama neighborhood clubs and county-level councils, and, over time, club activities became an intergenerational emancipatory realm of personal fulfillment and citizenship rights consciousness. Focusing on Alabama from 1928-1965, and, especially, the life and work of Macon County’s Laura Randolph Day, Dr. Williams uses historical and genealogical research to explain how Daly’s work was grounded in and enhanced by existing Afrocentric kinship, community, and religious beliefs and cultural practices.

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