Black women, professional occupations, urban communities, early twentieth century United States


Little research has examined the employment of Black women as teachers, nurses, and librarians in the urban Black communities of the early twentieth century. The present study fills this void, analyzing Census data on the largest urban Black communities at the start of the Great Migration to cities. The results show that, in spite of the supposed advantages of the northern "Black Metropolis," Black communities in the urban North were relatively limited in their potential to offer opportunities for Black women to enter pursuits that were, at the time, mainstays of a nascent class of Black professional women.

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