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League for Colored Women, Chattanooga, TN, World War I, n.d.

The League for Colored Women in Chattanooga, Tennessee
New York State Archives, NYSA_A4234-78_B2_F5_LeagueColoredWomen
 
Document Description
The League for Colored Women in Chattanooga, Tennessee actively raised money and prepared boxes of food, towels and other essential items for the troops in World War I, n.d.
 
Questions
What is the purpose of the League for Colored Women?
What methods did this group use to raise money for their cause?
What items were they providing for soldiers?
How do you think these women felt about their contributions to the war effort?
How do you think white soldiers would have felt about receiving help from African American women?
 
Historical Challenges
Research the National Association of Colored Women. How do these women contribute to modern society? What projects do they sponsor? Who do they try to help?
 
Interdisciplinary Connections
English Language Art: Write a journal entry from the perspective of a member of the League for Colored Women. Be sure to include information about the work you are doing and the discrimination you are facing as you try to volunteer your services.
 
Resources
History of the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, Inc. Retrieved from:http://www.nacwc.org/about/history.php
BlackPast.org: Remembered and Reclaimed. National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs, Inc. (1896) Retrieved from: http://www.blackpast.org/?q=aah/national-association-colored-women-s-clubs-inc-1896
Scott, Emmett J. Scott’s Official History of the American Negro in the World War. Chicago: Homewood Press, 1919.
 

Historical Context
This article recounts some of the actions of the League for Colored Women in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  These women helped contribute to the war through fundraisers, as well as by making food and clothing to be sent to the soldiers.

During World War I, African American women, or colored women as they were referred to during this time, organized and participated in various groups and activities for the purpose of supporting the war effort. The National Association of Colored Women, founded in 1895, served to coordinate the efforts of various local and state level organizations. The League for Colored Women in Chattanooga, Tennessee was one of these local organizations trying to help African American members of the Armed Forces. 

In addition to care packages for the soldiers, African American women also volunteered for the Red Cross, served as army nurses, ran fundraisers for the Liberty Loans and War Saving Stamps campaigns, and created the Circle for Negro War Relief to help African American soldiers and their families. Despite their patriotic endeavors and willingness to contribute to the war effort, many African American women faced discrimination and prejudice when they attempted to volunteer in certain towns and cities throughout the United States. In particular, some Red Cross locations and YWCA members protested African American involvement in their organizations. Nevertheless, African American women pushed on through this discrimination and continued to find ways of supporting the war effort. 

 
Essential Question
How do civilians contribute to a war effort?
 
Check for Understanding
Students write a response to the essential questions in which they address the motivations and challenges specific to minority groups in their support of a war effort.