Keywords

1920s, 1920-1929, advertising, chicago, gender history, history of race, the ku klux klan, blackness, whiteness, racism, womanhood, african american history, women's history, race, gender, class

Abstract

The 1920s represented a time of tension in America. Throughout the decade, marginalized groups created competing versions of a proper citizen. African-Americans sought to be included in the national fabric. Racism encouraged solidarity, but black Americans did not agree upon one method for coping with, and hopefully ending, antiblack racism. White women enjoyed new privileges and took on more roles in the public sphere. Reactionary groups like the Ku Klux Klan found these new voices unsettling and worrisome and celebrated a white, nativeborn, Protestant and male vision of the American citizen. Simultaneously, technological innovations allowed for advertising to flourish and spread homogenizing information regarding race, gender, values and consumption across the nation. These advertisements selectively represented these changes by channeling them into pre-existing prescriptive ideology. Mainstream ads, which were created by whites for white audiences, reinforced traditional ideas regarding black men and women and white women’s roles. Even if white women were featured using technology or wearing cosmetics, they were still featured in prescribed roles as housekeepers, wives and mothers who deferred to and relied on their husbands. Black women were featured in secondary roles, as servants or mammies, if at all. Concurrently, the black press created its own representations of women. Although these representations were complex and sometimes contradictory and had to reach multiple audiences, black-created ads featured women in a variety of roles, such as entertainers, mothers and business women, but never as mammies. Then, in a decade of increased tensions, white-created ads relied on traditional portrayals of women and African-Americans while black-designed ads offered more positive, although complicated, visions of womanhood.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2012

Semester

Fall

Advisor

Lester, Connie

Degree

Master of Arts (M.A.)

College

College of Arts and Humanities

Department

History

Degree Program

History; Public History

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0004612

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0004612

Language

English

Release Date

December 2013

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Subjects

Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic, Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities

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