For Atlanta, the early decades of the twentieth century brought
chaotic economic and demographic growth. Women-black and
white-emerged as a visible new component of the city's population.
As maids and cooks, secretaries and factory workers, these women
served the "better classes" in their homes and businesses. They
were enthusiastic patrons of the city's new commercial amusements
and the mothers of Atlanta's burgeoning working classes. In
response to women's growing public presence, as Georgina Hickey
reveals, Atlanta's boosters, politicians, and reformers created a
set of images that attempted to define the lives and contributions
of working women. Through these images, city residents expressed
ambivalence toward Atlanta's growth, which, although welcome, also
threatened the established racial and gender hierarchies of the
Using period newspapers, municipal documents, government
investigations, organizational records, oral histories, and
photographic evidence, Hope and Danger in the New South
City relates the experience of working-class women across
lines of race-as sources of labor, community members, activists,
pleasure seekers, and consumers of social services-to the process
of urban development.
Subjects: History, Sociology
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