African-American Women in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union: Part B

Directions: Write a well-organized essay that includes an introduction, several paragraphs, and a conclusion. Use evidence from at least five documents in the body of the essay. Support your response with relevant facts, examples, and details. Include additional outside information.

Historical Context:

The Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), the largest women's organization in the United States in the late nineteenth century, brought women together under a broad reform umbrella. The organization's leaders believed drunkenness led to poverty and violence within the home. The main goal of the WCTU was to make family life safer for women by outlawing the sale and consumption of alcohol. Led by Frances Willard for almost two decades, the WCTU appealed across religious, class, and racial lines, and became the first national women's reform organization that welcomed the support and efforts of middle-class African-American women. The Union set up a Department of Colored Work offering black women opportunities to participate in an interracial organization. However, despite the growth of largely African-American branches in the South and the participation of African Americans in northeastern and midwestern locals, relations across the color line within the WCTU were at times plagued with conflict and friction.


Using information from the documents and your knowledge of United States history, write an essay in which you:

• Identify and explain two reasons why African-American women desired to join the WCTU

• Compare and contrast the reasons why African-American women and white women joined the WCTU

• Identify and discuss two methods the WCTU used to recuit African-American women

• Identify and discuss two conflicts that arose between African-American women and the white leaders of the WCTU


In your essay, be sure to:

• Address all aspects of the Task by accurately analyzing and interpreting at least five documents.

• Incorporate information from the documents in the body of the essay.

• Incorporate relevant outside information.

• Support the theme with relevant facts, examples, and details.

• Use a logical and clear plan of organization.

• Introduce the theme by establishing a framework that is beyond a simple restatement of the Task or Historical Context and conclude with a summation of the theme.

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