Racial integration of the YWCA caused a ripple effect in intergroup class relations
The integration of white and black branches of the YWCA resulted in black women's loss of leadership roles. This narrative of interracial integration extended to the subsequent class integration of YWCA women workers. Anderson and Stille discuss the shift in power from elite control to working class control.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Eleanor Copenhaver Anderson, November 5, 1974. Interview G-0005. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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- MARY FREDERICKSON:
One thing before you go. Did you have any contacts with the YW in
Atlanta? The Phyllis Wheatley branch?
Yes, I did. That's before. . . now I don't think there's still a branch.
They worked very well. Both branches.One thing
they didn't want to do. Give up their branches. Because it meant then a
great many blacks lost their leadership that they had in their branches.
That was another difficulty came up when they did integrate. You see, if
you were head of a Phyllis Wheatley or another Negro branch, you had a
certain status. But if you. . . it was all integrated, the chances are
that the white woman might be better trained for the job or
- MARY FREDERICKSON:
Wasn't this a thing that ran all the way through as far as integrating
industrial girls with business girls because business girls would
Well, they never really tried too much to put them together, when I knew
them. Did you think so?
- ELEANOR COPENHAVER ANDERSON:
I think not. The industrial leaders then. . . the great leaders, the
fervent, ardent. . . were the industrial people. Now that's changed,
I think it has. I think the industrial girls as such, they don't think of
them. They just think of them as people. But at that time it was very
necessary they did have help because the industrial girl, of course, was
kept down. Her wages and everything.