American Social Leaders and Activists (American Biographies) by Neil A. Hamilton

By Neil A. Hamilton

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They claimed that black men were innately predatory toward white women, who had to be protected. Ames fought that attitude by encouraging white women to reject the stereotypical view of their vulnerability to black aggression and by educating whites about the shortcomings in their argument. Through her own research she showed that of 204 lynchings in an eight-year period only 29 percent of those blacks hanged had been accused of crimes against white women. To organize chapters of the ASWPL, Ames traveled throughout the South.

New York: Holt, 1940. Ames, Jessie Daniel (Jessie Harriet Daniel) (1883–1972) women’s suffragist, civil rights activist Jessie Daniel Ames is remembered for being a crusader for women’s suffrage and a strong voice against the lynching of African Americans. She was born Jessie Harriet Daniel on November 2, 1883, in Palestine, Texas, to James Malcolm Daniel, a train dispatcher and telegraph operator, and Laura Maria Leonard Daniel, a schoolteacher. Jessie Daniel grew up in a strongly religious family.

Baker received her secondary education at a boarding school in Raleigh, North Carolina, and in 1923 she attended that city’s Shaw University. Four years later she graduated as class valedictorian with a major in sociology. Baker hoped to go on to graduate school at the University of Chicago, but her finances prevented it, and in 1927 she moved to New York City, where she worked as a waitress and a factory laborer. The onset of the Great Depression in 1929 exposed her to massive poverty in Harlem and to some of the radical political ideas being discussed to alleviate it.

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