Essay On The Effects Of The Civil War On African American Women

Superior Essays
The Civil War disrupted many American lives. Improved technology and a lack of medical knowledge increased the amount of casualties during the war. It became necessary that women take on different roles to fill in for their husbands and sons who could not perform these tasks. During the war, women could become nurses and take on other jobs without as much hostility from society. Even in homes women 's roles expanded as they took on more responsibility. Women gained more freedoms but they still needed to fight for their rights and status in society. Slavery ended, which changed the roles and lives of many black women. They received more control over their lives, but they did not escape from racism and sexism. Society forced black women into “feminine” jobs and confined them to the typical role of a woman in a household. These women faced prejudices from both white men and women as their roles expanded in society. The Civil War …show more content…
Freed women could now work for wages instead of working without them, although they did not receive wages equal to men. They gained more options of choosing where and whom they worked for instead of their slaveholders deciding their fate. They typically found jobs in households and fields and worked about 1400 hours less in a year than they did as slaves (Flexner 121, Gray 180). More educated women became teachers, administrators, principals, doctors and nurses (Gray 172). African American women’s gender and race did not limit them to jobs the nation designated for them. Prejudices did not stop Charlotte E. Ray from became a lawyer, although she face too much opposition to stay in practice (Flexner 124). Black women slowly expanded into jobs previously unavailable to them which aided others in their struggle to equality and better careers. The Civil War allowed former slave women to work for wages and decide where and when they would work. It allowed many women to redefine themselves as

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    Black Women In The 1800s

    • 1254 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Although things have changed for the better black women are now becoming stronger, aiming higher. Black women have become more independent and now possess jobs as nurses, doctors, lawyers etc. Black women are not the only ones that suffer from inequalities but in today’s society Mexican women and men have become the underclass they face discrimination issues. It’s very rare to see Mexicans going to college and getting an education. They have been struggling for their own justice.…

    • 1254 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Antebellum Gender Equality

    • 1583 Words
    • 7 Pages

    In the Reconstruction period, “black women continued building community and identity from the tattered fragments of enslavement’s legacy and cultural brokenness” (“Claiming Their Citizenship: African American from 1624-2009.”). The ability to legally marry and raise a family was just one benefit from their new citizenship. Free labor altered their status, giving both men and women the assumption of self-governance. Women especially fought for more control in their labor contracts to spend time with their families (Frankel). African American women still faced discrimination in both the North and South, regardless of the laws and amendments passed to protect their liberation, which had an impact on further reform movements as well (Faulkner 141).…

    • 1583 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In the 1960s and 1970s, the people of America began to question the roles of women and generally, their positions in society after it was brought to their attention. For several years, women had been known to only cook, clean, and take care of their families. In the past, there were many restrictions on what females were allowed to do, which limited them to live their lives without pursuing certain careers or job opportunities. Although women struggled with their gender roles for so long, major changes began to occur around the 1960s, causing women to live their lives without so many restrictions. These major changes that took place truly changed the lives of females and also, how society viewed them.…

    • 1300 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The Revolution had a tremendous impact on all of America, but when examined at a deeper perspective, it determined the way of life for women of the time. In her essay, Jacqueline Jones argues that gender and race shaped the lives of black women during the American Revolution. They were burdened in ways that differentiated from their male counterparts and whites. Whereas James Taylor Carson argues that Native American life allowed women to have more power and authority. Molly Brant, a Mohawk woman, did not settle for the traditional gender roles that she was expected to undertake, but she raised her power to a new height and made herself known as a Mohawk leader by taking advantage of Revolutionary opportunities.…

    • 796 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    They did this by moving to larger cities, especially Atlanta, not only to seek economic self-sufficiency but for protection. Rural areas were more vulnerable to things that would deprive African Americans of life, liberty, and happiness but it also was more susceptible to causing the women to become victims of rape (p.277-278). The paid labor African American women were placed in were mainly domestic jobs in private homes, where they did laundry, cleaned, cooked, and did basic housework, especially since they were excluded from manufacturing plants. One of the advantages black women had was the ability to negotiate for higher wages, better hours, easier tasks, otherwise they would quit and look for something better, thus, having control but not always did negotiation work or finding a better job. Since a lot of African American women worked at home instead, even though they did not get paid they controlled the workload, hours, conditions, tasks, and they were away from white men coercion (p. 277).…

    • 1968 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Green and King (2001) finds that the key to black women holding leadership positions, is back empowerment. Empowerment will help direct black women in the right career path, taking on challenges and knowing that their voice and opinions are more needed than ever. With black women having the state of mind to hold a place in leadership than to take a back seat, will help them overcome the disadvantage brought amongst people of color. Empowerment will also stop the trend of black women flowing below the labor market, and put them in the position as the breadwinner. Although all of these scholars have different point of views on the black women’s impact, they all involve advancement, and how to get there.…

    • 645 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    But although these movements helped the black woman it did not abolish the racism altogether. Black women have come a long way since the past. With today 's society I now have a voice and am being heard. I have a lot more rights and opportunities now than I would probably have. Look at our election today a woman is finally running for a position in the white house in the past that would be complete shock and would not be tolerated by the men in power.…

    • 1324 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    During the civil war era, women were looked at very differently. They were mainly looked at as people to take care of the kids, and the house. Even they didn 't realize how independent they could become. After the war started, the had to take new roles, find jobs, and prove to men and others they could do more than take care of the house, and children. While men were away from home fighting in the war, women had to keep the man’s income alive to survive.…

    • 1162 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Women took on jobs that were traditionally meant for men, for example; farm labor, and selling items(Ott 1). The Civil War pushed women to break free from societal bounds, to aid in the war effort. Although women were working hard they were still payed less than men. Women were working in factories in order to develop the necessary goods for the war(Tendrich 55). New responsibilities on the home-front pushed women to contribute to the war effort by making goods for the military.…

    • 797 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    “These forward thinkers risked being abandoned by their families and ridiculed by neighbors. Some even were hit with rotten fruit when they appeared in public. They struggled on, however, believing that women should be free to explore all of their creative and intellectual interests and abilities.” This use of pathos also shows that there was a true transformation in these women’s lives; they were ridiculed and abandoned, but they still held their heads high in their fight for women’s freedom. The final way they use pathos is when talking about women working in factories. “By 1860, almost 300,000 women worked in textile mills, shoe and clothing factories, and printing plants.…

    • 1000 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays