Attempting to militate against their own disparaged manhood, black male leaders of the 1880s participated in this project by developing, she writes, "a narrative of endangered black women. Urban areas, once sites of opportunity for women, became sexually dangerous places for the unprotected female, easy prey to deceitful and barbarous white males." Eventually, however, sexual violence became a woman's issue to be discussed at Women's Meetings such as this one. Brown adds that "[b]y increasingly claiming sexual violence as a women's issue, middle-class black women claimed a political/public space for themselves but they also contributed to an emerging tendency to divert issues of sexual violence to a lesser plane and to see them as the specific interest of women, not bound up in the general concerns and struggles for freedom" (143-45). Still, the serious nature of what these young women faced should not be minimized, even though it seems to have become a woman's issue.

     Anna Cooper's essay titled "Colored Women as Wage-Earners" was placed in the "Contributed Articles" section of the 1899 issue of Southern Workman, a section headed with the disclaimer: "The editors of the Workman do not hold themselves responsible for the opinions expressed in this department. Their aim is simply to place before their readers articles by men and women of ability without regard to the opinions held."  Of the two articles included in this section of the Southern Workman, one critiqued the participation of "colored American soldiers" in the Spanish-American War, and the other described a growing resentment among the "Indian of the Plains" living on reservations, in line with the paper's purpose, stated in the masthead, to report "work for and progress of the Black and Red races of our country." In 1878, Hampton had assumed the education of Native Americans captured and held as prisoners of war by the United States following an 1875 uprising; thus the "red" race was incorporated into the school's general uplift project.

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August 1999