Research Programs: Fellowships

Period of Performance

1/1/2019 - 12/31/2019

Funding Totals

$50,400.00 (approved)
$50,400.00 (awarded)

African American Women and Domestic Service During the New Deal

FAIN: FEL-258205-18

Catherine A. Stewart
Cornell College (Mount Vernon, IA 52314-1098)

The completion of a book-length study of African American domestic workers in the South during the 1930s.

The New Maid provides a much needed social and cultural history of African American women who labored as household workers during the New Deal. It examines how the politics of race and the economic depression impacted 1930s debates over black citizenship and household employment through the lens of popular culture, including film and literature, as well as Works Progress Administration projects to train household workers. Previous scholarship on black household employees has focused on their experience post-World War II; this book aims to recover what preceded post-war labor activism by using rare archival evidence to uncover black women’s work culture as domestic laborers in the south. The New Maid illuminates how race, class, and gender intersected in public and private negotiations over household labor, setting the stage for post-war civil rights struggles in which black women, working as domestic servants, were in the vanguard.

Media Coverage

Stewart receives NEH grant for second book (Media Coverage)
Publication: Cornell College News Center
Date: 12/19/2017