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    THE AFRO-AMERICAN WOMAN IN VERSE.   Table of Contents     OUR AFRO-AMERICAN REPRESENTATIVES AT
  --  THE WORLD'S
FAIR

Mossell, N.F.
The Work of Afro-American Women

- OUR WOMEN IN JOURNALISM.

OUR WOMEN IN JOURNALISM.


THE heredity and environment of women has for many ages circumscribed them to a certain routine both of work and play. In this century, sometimes called the "nineteenth Century", but often the "Women's Century", there has been a yielding of the barriers that surround her life. In the school, the church, the state, her value as co-operative is being widely discussed. The co-education of the sexes, the higher education of woman, has given to her life a strong impetus in the line of literary effort. Perhaps this can be more strongly felt in the profession of journalism than in any other. on every hand journals published by women and for women are multiplying. The corps of lady writers employed on most of our popular magazines and papers is quite as large as the male contingent and often more popular if not as scholarly. We can realize what this generation would have lost if the cry of "blue stocking" had checked the ambition of our present women writers. The women of our race have become vitalized by the strong literary current that surrounds them. The

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number is daily increasing of those who write commendably readable articles for various journals published by the race. There was a day when an Afro-American woman of the greatest refinement and culture could aspire no higher than the dressmaker's are, or later who would rise higher in the scale could be a teacher, and there the to round of higher employment was reached. At we have fallen on brighter days, we retain largely the old employments and have added to this literary work and its special line of journalistic effort.

New lines are being marked our by us; notice "Aunt Lindy" and "Du. Sevier" in the Review . The success of this line of effort is assured and we hail it with joy. Our women have a great work to do in this generation; the ones who walked before us could not do it, they had no education. The ones who come after us will expect to walk in pleasant paths of our marking out. Journalism offers man y inducements,. it gives to a great extent work at home; sex and race are no bar, often they need not be known; literary work never employs all one's time, for we cannot write as we would wash dishes. Again,, our quickness of perception, tact, intuition, help to guide us to the popular taste; her ingenuity, the enthusiasm woman has for all she attempts, are in her favor. Again, we have come on the world of action in a century replete with mechanical

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means for increasing efficiency; woman suffrage is about to dawn our mean are too much hampered by their contentious with their white brothers to afford to stop and fight black sisters so, we slip in and glided along quietly we are out of the thick of the fight. Lookers-on in Venice we have time to think over our thoughts and carry out our purposes; we have everything to encourage us in this line of effort, and so far I have found nothing to discourage an earnest worker. All who will do good work can get a hearing in our best Afro-American journals. In the large cities especially of the North we have here and there found openings on white journals. More will come as more are prepared to fill them and when it will have become novelty to be dreaded by editor or fellow- reporters. To women starting in literacy work I would say, write means you will be most likely to convince others be original in title conception and plan. Read and study continuously. Study the style of articles of to give advice. Every branch of lie work is now being divided into special lines and the literacy field share in the plan marked out by other lines of work; so much is this the case that the name of cable or tougher or Haygood suggests at once southern negro life; Edward Atkinson food Prof. Shaler,
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a scientific research and so on and infinitum our literate would be well to follow the same plan it may have its advantages. To those who aspire to become journalists we only give the old rule enter the office began at the lowest round and try to loran each department of work well. Be thankful for suggestion and criticism make friend choose if possible your editor, your paper be loyal to both of both. See that your own paper gets the best, the latest news. If a new idea comes to you, even if it is out of the your line of work, talk over it with him. Study papers from the design at the top the headings the advertisements up to the editorials. Have an intelligent comprehension of every department of work on the paper. As was reporter I believe a lady has the advantage of the masculine reporter in many respects. She can give more readily as an interviewer access to both sexes. Women know best how to deal with woman and the inborn chivalry of a gentleman leads him to grant her inborn chivalry of a gentleman leads him to grant her request when a man might have been repulsed without compunction. In Seven years' experience as an interviewer on two white papers I have never met with as refusal from either sex or race if at first for some reason they declined, eventually i gained my point another present feature of this as all other employment it comradeship one can always find a helper in a fellow
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worker. I have received some such kind, helpful letters; one from Mrs. Marion McBride, President of New England Women's Press Association comes to my mind; another from Mrs. Henry Highland Garnet of N.Y. Here and there pleasant tokens of esteem and co-operation greet me. I have been thanked heartily in many strange places, by many new and unaccustomed voices, for helpful words spoken in the long ago. To the women of my race, the daughters of an an oppressed people, I say a bright future awaits you. Let us each try to be a lamp in the pathway of the colaborer a guide to the footsteps of the generation that must follow. Let us make, if we can, the rough places smooth; let us write naught that need cause a blush to rise to our cheek even in old age. Let us feel the magnitude of the work, its vast possibilities for good or ill. Let us strive ever not to be famous, but to be wisely helpful, leaders and guides for those who look eagerly for the daily or weekly feast that we set before them.

Doing this, our reward must surely come. And when at some future day we shall desire to start a women's journal, by our women, for our women, we will have built up for ourselves a bulwark of strength; we will be able to lead well because we have learned to follow. May these few words, allied to the bright and shining examples of such women as Mrs.

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Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Mrs. Fanny Jackson Coppin, Mrs. Sara M. Douglass, and other consistent, industrious workers, serve as a stimulus to some one who is strong of will, but weak of purpose, or to another whose aspiration is to become a journalist, but who fears to launch her little bark on the waves of its tempestuous sea.
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