1920 – 1948 Confidence and Crises Supplemental Materials

Art Activities

Activist Art on a World Stage

Sculptor Augusta Savage was a key figure of the Harlem Renaissance and the first Black woman in America to open her own gallery. Savage helped establish a new narrative and identity for 20th-century Black Americans and created spaces for Black students in Harlem to study and exhibit art. Her own work combated the racism and visual stereotypes that were pervasive in imagery of the Jim Crow Era. Savage was one of only 12 woman artists commissioned to create a work of art for the 1939 World’s Fair. Her 16-foot sculpture The Harp drew inspiration from the song Lift Every Voice and Sing, which is often referred to as the Black National Anthem.

In this activity, students consider Augusta Savage’s inspiration for The Harp by creating their own sculpture in response to a piece of music. After analyzing the connections between Savage’s piece and the lyrics to Lift Every Voice and Sing by James Weldon Johnson and J. Rosamond Johnson, students choose a song that has personal significance to them and create a three-dimensional work of art using air-dry clay.

To read and download the lesson plan for this art activity, click here.

Reflecting on the Black Experience

Printmaking is unique in its ability to make multiple works of art from one engraved plate. Since the origins of printmaking around the 2nd century, the medium has taken on many forms that use different materials, tools, and processes. In the 20th century, African-American artist Elizabeth Catlett used printmaking techniques to explore themes of race and feminism in America. Her 1946 linocut series I am the black woman depicts the experiences of Black women in the 20th century.

In this activity, students consider Elizabeth’s Catlett’s artistic process and inspirations for the series I am the black woman. After analyzing a selection of four prints from the series, discussing the subjects and themes Catlett explored in her work, and thinking about how these works of art respond to the both Catlett’s identity and the time period in which she lived, students create their own prints presenting an interpretation of their personal identity.

To read and download the lesson plan for this art activity, click here.

Source Notes

Jazz Age

Women Voters

  • Dearborn, Keri. “League of Women Voters.” In Women in American History, Volume 3, edited by Peg A. Lamphier and Rosanne Welch, 85–87. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2017.
  • Weiss, Elaine. The Woman’s Hour. New York: Viking Press, 2018.
  • Woloch, Nancy. Women and the American Experience. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2011.

Defining and Debating Equality

  • Dearborn, Keri. “League of Women Voters.” In Women in American History, Volume 3, edited by Peg A. Lamphier and Rosanne Welch, 85–87. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2017.
  • Kessler-Harris, Alice. Out to Work: A History of Wage-Earning Women in the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982.
  • Pruden, Wiliam H. “Equal Rights Amendment.” In Women in American History, Volume 4, edited by Peg A. Lamphier and Rosanne Welch, 135–136. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2017.
  • Pruden, Wiliam H. “National Woman’s Party.” In Women in American History, Volume 3, edited by Peg A. Lamphier and Rosanne Welch, 112–113. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2017.
  • Woloch, Nancy. Women and the American Experience. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2011.

Beauty, Style, and Consumerism

  • Chapman, Erin. Prove it On Me: New Negroes, Sex, and Popular Culture in the 1920s. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.
  • Cott, Nancy. The Grounding of Modern Feminism. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1987.
  • Peiss, Kathy. Hope in a Jar: The Making of America’s Beauty Culture. New York: Metropolitan Books, 1998.
  • Woloch, Nancy. Women and the American Experience. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2011.

Flappers in the Media

  • Chapman, Erin. Prove it On Me: New Negroes, Sex, and Popular Culture in the 1920s. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.
  • Cott, Nancy. The Grounding of Modern Feminism. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1987.
  • Peiss, Kathy. Hope in a Jar: The Making of America’s Beauty Culture. New York: Metropolitan Books, 1998.
  • Woloch, Nancy. Women and the American Experience. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2011.

Housework and Social Sciences

  • Sue Kunda. “A History of Science and Society in Oregon: Oregon State University’s Extension and Experiment Station Publications.” Oregon Historical Quarterly 115, no. 4 (2014): 530–49. doi:10.5403/oregonhistq.115.4.0530.
  • Woloch, Nancy. Women and the American Experience. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2011.

The Great Migration

  • Chatelain, Marcia. South Side Girls: Growing Up in the Great Migration. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015.
    Wilkerson, Isabel. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration. New York: Vintage Books, 2010.

Women of the Ku Klux Klan

  • Blee, Kathleen. Women of the Klan. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991.
  • Gordon, Linda. The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition. New York: Liveright Publishing, 2017.

Life Story: Zora Neale Hurston

  • Cott, Nancy F. The Grounding of Modern Feminism. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1989.
  • Rhoades-Piotti, Tiffany. “Hurston, Zora Neale.” In Women in American History, Volume 3, edited by Peg A. Lamphier and Rosanne Welch, 238–240. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2017.
  • Taylor, Yuval. Zora and Langston: A Story of Friendship and Betrayal. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2019.
  • Woloch, Nancy. Women and the American Experience. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2011.

Life Story: Bessie Smith

  • Albertson, Chris. Bessie. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2005.
  • Harrison, Daphne Duval. Black Pearls: Blues Queens of the 1920s. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1988.

Life Story: Ella May Wiggins

  • Hall, Jacquelyn Dowd, Robert Korstad, and James Leloudis. “Cotton Mill People: Work, Community, and Protest in the Textile South, 1880–1940.” The American Historical Review 91, no. 2 (1986): 245–86.
  • Huber, Patrick. “Mill Mother’s Lament: Ella May Wiggins and the Gastonia Textile Strike of 1929.” Southern Cultures 15, no. 3 (2009): 81–110.

Life Story: Anna May Wong

  • Chan, Anthony B. Perpetually Cool: The Many Lives of Anna May Wong. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2003.
  • Hodges, Graham Russell. Anna May Wong: From Laundryman’s Daughter to Hollywood Legend. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2012.
  • Lim, Shirley Jennifer. Anna May Wong: Performing the Modern. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2019.

Life Story: Gertrude Ederle

  • Dahlberg, Tim. America’s Girl: The Incredible Story of How Swimmer Gertrude Ederle Changed the Nation. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2009.
  • Hendricks, Nancy. “Ederle, Gertrude.” In Women in American History, Volume 3, edited by Peg A. Lamphier and Rosanne Welch, 51–52. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2017.
  • Woloch, Nancy. Women and the American Experience. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2011.

Life Story: Mabel Walker Willebrandt

  • Brown, Dorothy M. Mabel Walker Willebrandt: A Study of Power, Loyalty, and Law. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1984.
  • McGirr, Lisa. The War on Alcohol: Prohibition and the Rise of the American State. New York: WW. Norton & Company, 2016.

The Great Depression

Meals on a Budget

  • Woloch, Nancy. Women the American Experience. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011.
  • Marchand, Roland. Advertising the American Dream. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985.

Hollywood and Frugal Fashion

  • Haven, Virginia. Silverscreen to Mainstream: American Fashion in the 1930s and ’40s. Chicago: Chicago Historical Society, 2019.

A Bootlegging Mother

  • McGirr, Lisa. The War on Alcohol: Prohibition and the Rise of the American State. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2016.
  • Sanchez, Tanya Marie. “The Feminine Side of Bootlegging.” Louisiana History: The Journal of the Louisiana Historical Association 41, no. 4 (2000): 403–33.

Sharecropping in a Depression

  • Conrad, David E. “Tenant Farming and Sharecropping,” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=TE009.
  • “Farm Security Administration /Office of War Information Black-and-White Negatives.” Library of Congress. https://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/fsa/background.html.

Militant Housewives

  • Orleck, Annelise. “”We Are That Mythical Thing Called the Public”: Militant Housewives during the Great Depression.” Feminist Studies 19, no. 1 (1993): 147–72.

Married Women and Work

  • Milkman, Ruth. “Women’s Work and Economic Crisis Some Lessons of the Great Depression.” Review of Radical Political Economics 8, no. 1 (1976): 71–97.
  • Woloch, Nancy. Women the American Experience. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011.

Organized Labor and the New Deal

  • Orleck, Annelise. Common Sense and a Little Fire. 2nd ed. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2017.
  • Woloch, Nancy. Women the American Experience. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011.

“Unattached” Women

  • Abelson, Elaine S. “”Women Who Have No Men to Work for Them”: Gender and Homelessness in the Great Depression, 1930–1934.” Feminist Studies 29, no. 1 (2003): 105–27.
  • Woloch, Nancy. Women the American Experience. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011.

Activist Art on a World Stage

  • Haynes, Jeffreen M. Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman. London: Giles Limited, 2018.

Aspirations and Career Goals

  • Magaña, Mariana. “Earhart, Amelia.” In Women in American History, Volume 3, edited by Peg A. Lamphier and Rosanne Welch, 230–232. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2017.
  • Susan Ware. Still Missing: Amelia Earhart and the Search for Modern Feminism. New York: W.W. Norton, 1993.
  • Woloch, Nancy. Women and the American Experience. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2011.

Life Story: Ellen Sullivan Woodward

  • Seeber, Frances M. “Eleanor Roosevelt and Women in the New Deal: A Network of Friends.” Presidential Studies Quarterly 20, no. 4 (1990): 707–17.
  • Swain, Martha H. Ellen S. Woodward: New Deal Advocate for Women. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2005.

Life Story: Mary McLeod Bethune

  • Bethune, Mary McLeod. “How the Bethune-Cookman College Campus Started.” In Women’s America, edited by Linda K. Kerber, Jane Sherron de Hart, Cornelia Hughes Dayton, Judy Tzu-Chun Wu, 329-331. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.
  • Pruden III, William H. “Bethune, Mary McLeod.” In Women in American History, Volume 3, edited by Peg A. Lamphier and Rosanne Welch, 219-220. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2017.
  • Woloch, Nancy. Women the American Experience. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011.

Life Story: Dorothea Lange

  • Gordon, Linda. Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits. New York: W.W. Norton, 2009.

Life Story: Emma Tenayuca

  • González, Gabriela. “Carolina Munguía and Emma Tenayuca: The Politics of Benevolence and Radical Reform.” Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 24, no. 2/3 (2003): 200–29.
  • Vargas, Zaragosa. “Tejana Radical: Emma Tenayuca and the San Antonio Labor Movement during the Great Depression.” Pacific Historical Review 66, no. 4 (1997): 553–80.

Life Story: Mary Kawena Pukui

  • Bennett Peterson, Barbara. “Pukui, Mary.” In Notable American Women: A Biographical Dictionary, Volume 5, edited by Susan Ware and Stacy Braukman, 529 –530. Cambridge: Belknap Press, 2005.
  • Green, Laura C., and Martha W. Beckwith. “Hawaiian Customs and Beliefs Relating to Birth and Infancy.” American Anthropologist, New Series, 26, no. 2 (1924): 230–46.
  • Hawai`i Alive: Bringing Hawaiian Culture to Life. Bishop Museum, 2011. http://www.hawaiialive.org.

World War II

Home Life in War Time

  • Campbell, D’Ann. Women at War with America: Private Lives in a Patriotic Era. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1984.
  • Harrington, Sara. “Women’s Work: Domestic Labor in American World War II Posters,” Art Documentation: Journal of the Art Libraries Society of North America 22, no. 2 (Fall 2003): 41-44.
  • Rupp, Leila M. Mobilizing Women for War: German and American Propaganda, 1939-1945. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1978.

Recruiting Women

  • Harrington, Sara. “Women’s Work: Domestic Labor in American World War II Posters,” Art Documentation: Journal of the Art Libraries Society of North America 22, no. 2 (Fall 2003): 41—44.
  • Kessler-Harris. Women Have Always Worked. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2018.
  • Rupp, Leila M. Mobilizing Women for War: German and American Propaganda, 1939—1945. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1978.
  • Woloch, Nancy. Women and the American Experience. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2011.

Women and War Work

  • Woloch, Nancy. Women the American Experience. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2011.

Integrated War Work

  • Honey, Maureen, ed. Bitter Fruit: African American Women in World War II. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1999.
  • Woloch, Nancy. Women the American Experience. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2011.

Letters from the Front

  • U.S. Army Center of Military History. The Army Nurse Corps: A Commemoration of World War II Service. December 2014.
  • Woloch, Nancy. Women the American Experience. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011.

Women in the Army

  • Meyer, Leisa D. Creating G.I. Jane: Sexuality and Power in the Women’s Army Corps During World War II. New York: Columbia University Press, 1996.

The Navy Meets Haute Couture

  • “Worth/Mainbocher: Demystifying the Haute Couture.” Museum of the City of New York.
  • Welch, Rosanne. “Women Appointed for Volunteer Emergency Service.” In Women in American History, Volume 3, edited by Peg A. Lamphier and Rosanne Welch, 343-345. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2017.

Surviving Internment

  • Matsumoto, Valerie. “Japanese American Women During World War II.” In Women’s America, edited by Linda K. Kerber, Jane Sherron de Hart, Cornelia Hughes Dayton, Judy Tzu-Chun Wu, 530-536. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.
  • Hong, Christine. “Citizen 13660.” In Densho Encyclopedia. http://encyclopedia.densho.org/Citizen_13660_(book)/#Footnotes. Accessed October 2019.

Life Story: Anne O’Hare McCormick

Life Story: Grace Thorpe

  • Associated Press. “Thorpe, Grace: Daughter of Jim Thorpe passes on.” Indian Country News (April 2008). https://www.indiancountrynews.com/index.php/culture/walking-on/2985-thorpe-grace-daughter-of-jim-thorpe-passes-on. Accessed October 20, 2019.
  • Neill, Michael. “Torch Bearer.” People Magazine (January 8, 1996).  https://people.com/archive/torch-bearer-vol-45-no-1/. Accessed October 20, 2019.
  • Seely, Dagmar. Biographical Note: Grace Thorpe. Smithsonian Online Virtual Archives. https://sova.si.edu//record/NMAI.AC.085. Accessed October 20, 2019.
  • Weaver, Patti. “Indian Artist Keeping Heritage Alive.” The Oklahoman (August 9, 1987). https://oklahoman.com/article/2195023/indian-artist-keeping-heritage-alive. Accessed October 20, 2019.

Life Story: Grace Hopper

  • Kurt W. Beyer, Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age (Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 2009).
  • Grace Hopper, interview, July, 1968, Computer Oral History Collection, Smithsonian Institution, Archive Center, National Museum of American History, amhistory.si.edu/archives/AC0196_hopp680700.pdf
    (accessed by M. Waters, 7-3-15).
  • Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2014).

Life Story: Chien-Shiung Wu

  • Calvin, Scott. Beyond Curie: Four Women in Physics and Their Remarkable Discoveries, 1903 to 1963. Philadelphia: IOP Concise Physics, 2017.
  • Magaña, Mariana. “Wu, Chien-Shiung.” In Women in American History, Volume 3, edited by Peg A. Lamphier and Rosanne Welch, 352-353. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2017.

Post War

ERA Revisited

  • Woloch, Nancy. Women the American Experience. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011.

Ruling to Protect Women (Again)

  • Kessler-Harris, Alice. Out to Work: A History of Wage-Earning Women in the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982.
  • Woloch, Nancy. Muller v. Oregon: A Brief History with Documents. Boston: Bedford Books, 1996.

Post-War Weddings

  • Woloch, Nancy. Women the American Experience. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011.
  • Howard, Vicki. Brides, Inc.: American Weddings and the Business of Tradition. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006.

Revisiting the Black Experience

  • Honey, Maureen, ed. Bitter Fruit: African American Women in World War II. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1999.
  • Woloch, Nancy. Women the American Experience. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011.

Life Story: Pauli Murray 

  • Rosenberg, Rosalind. Jane Crow: The Life of Pauli Murray. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.

Life Story: Eleanor Roosevelt

  • Borgwardt, Elizabeth. A New Deal for the World. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007.
  • Cook, Blanche Wiesen. Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume 1. New York: Penguin Books, 1993
  • Cook, Blanche Wiesen. Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume 2. New York: Penguin Books, 2000
  • Cook, Blanche Wiesen. Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume 2. New York: Penguin Books, 2017.
  • Facing History and Ourselves. Fundamental Freedoms: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Brookline, MA: Facing History and Ourselves, 2010.

Suggested Reading

Abelson, Elaine S. “”Women Who Have No Men to Work for Them”: Gender and Homelessness in the Great Depression, 1930–1934.” Feminist Studies 29, no. 1 (2003): 105–27.

Blee, Kathleen. Women of the Klan. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991.

Borgwardt, Elizabeth. A New Deal for the World. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007.

Campbell, D’Ann. Women at War with America: Private Lives in a Patriotic Era. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1984.

Chapman, Erin. Prove it On Me: New Negroes, Sex, and Popular Culture in the 1920s. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Chatelain, Marcia. South Side Girls: Growing Up in the Great Migration. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015.

Cott, Nancy. The Grounding of Modern Feminism. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1987.

Facing History and Ourselves. Fundamental Freedoms: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Brookline, MA: Facing History and Ourselves, 2010.

Gordon, Linda. Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits. New York: W.W. Norton, 2009.

Gordon, Linda. The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition. New York: Liveright Publishing, 2017.

Hall, Jacquelyn Dowd, Robert Korstad, and James Leloudis. “Cotton Mill People: Work, Community, and Protest in the Textile South, 1880–1940.” The American Historical Review 91, no. 2 (1986): 245–86.

Honey, Maureen, ed. Bitter Fruit: African American Women in World War II. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1999.

Kessler-Harris, Alice. Out to Work: A History of Wage-Earning Women in the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982.

McGirr, Lisa. The War on Alcohol: Prohibition and the Rise of the American State. New York: WW. Norton & Company, 2016.

Orleck, Annelise. Common Sense and a Little Fire. 2nd ed. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2017.

Peiss, Kathy. Hope in a Jar: The Making of America’s Beauty Culture. New York: Metropolitan Books, 1998.

Wilkerson, Isabel. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration. New York: Vintage Books, 2010.

Woloch, Nancy. Women and the American Experience. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2011.