Role Of Women In The 1920s

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The Changing Roles and Freedoms of Women in the 1920s Before the turn of the 20th century, women were considered the property of their husbands. Women were expected to be wives and mothers. Women were limited in their ability to be educated, to earn and keep their wages, to own property, and to vote. Women could only hold positions in the most limited of professions. There were few exceptions, but beginning in the 1840s this slowly began to change as women became involved in the reform and suffrage movements. Women began to experience freedom in the 1920s in politics, economics and work, and education. Despite tremendous contributions by women in all areas of society, women's roles were narrowly defined in the 1800s and early 1900s. Women,…show more content…
In the years after World War I, there was not only "an increasing amount of work influenced by the aesthetic traditions of Africa" (Black Women in Art and Literature), but also a focus on what it meant to be an African American woman. African American women novelists, poets, and artists celebrated their culture and explored questions of race in America. Zora Neale Hurston's novel Their Eyes Were Watching God speaks of women’s longing for independence. The woman's experience and inequality was universal and was not just a white woman's issue, but one also keenly felt by African American women. Georgia Douglas Johnson's poem Calling Dreams evokes language of freedom and independence. Jessie Fauset was the literary editor of The Crisis, a publication supported by the NAACP which featured not only political issues but also included poetry and fiction. Fauset not only wrote articles on politics, but also wrote novels. Other writers like "Dorothy West and Hallie Quinn, journalists like Alice Dunbar-Nelson and Geraldyn Dismond, artists like Augusta Savage and Lois Mailou Jones, and singers like Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Ethel Waters, Marian Anderson, Florence Mills, and Clara Smith" (Lewis) wrote, painted, and sang about the need for more justice and more recognition. They talked about love and life, freedom and difficulty. As African American women they "braved not only the ongoing hostile racist environment of exclusion and suppression but also the challenge of gaining independence as women to pursue their artistic goals" (Lewis). Women of all colors were experiencing freedom and were able to act and be who and what they

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