Anna Hedgeman Research Paper

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Anna Arnold Hedgeman began life in a small, white, Midwestern community unaware of the discrimination African Americans faced in the United States. However, her curious mind and hunger for information and experiences exposed her to the realities of her time, and she made it her life’s work to balance the scales. From her work with the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) in the 1920s and 1930s to her duties with the Commission on Religion and Race of the National Council of Churches in the 1960s, Hedgeman’s goals were singular. As the first African American female member of a mayoral cabinet, her example surpassed the city limits in which she worked. It began in her childhood which was marked with the influences that would last her lifetime. “Four ideas dominated our family life,” she wrote of her youth in The Gift of Chaos. “Education, religion, character, and service to mankind.”…show more content…
Her father created an insular world for Hedgeman and her sisters. “I grew up in Anoka, Minnesota, in a small, comfortable Midwestern town with the traditional main street,” she wrote in her book The Trumpet Sounds. “There was no poverty as I have come to know it in the slums of our urban centers. I had not realized that a man could need bread and not be able to get it.” The only African American family in an area dominated by European immigrants, the Arnolds were very much a part of the community and the young Arnold children were never made to feel different. Hedgeman’s father created a nurturing environment that stressed education and a strong work ethic. In that environment, however, there was also a strictness and high level of expectation for Hedgeman and her two sisters. She learned to read at home, but wasn’t permitted to attend school until she was seven years old. An Education In

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