January 20, 1943
Society pages were everyday and important parts of black newspapers, but this article (click to view PDF) also points to the work black women performed on the home front during World War II. When I learned about victory gardens and women defense workers in high school and college, I never heard stories about black women planting gardens to prevent food shortages or the hundreds of thousands of “Black Rosies” who broke racial and gender barriers to take jobs in war production or in U.S. government offices. These women came from all walks of life including, in this case, Atlanta’s society circles. When Holmes-Washington lists the guests in attendance—Mesdames Anita Hawkins, Charlotte Shorter, Eva Cowan, Maude Hatton, Maude Lucky, Mable Mitchell, Ella Hampton, Eva Kelly, Y. E. Rogers, Raymond Carter Green, Lois McMath, Ruth Jackson, and Miss Ruby Wise—I wonder how these women experienced World War II, how many joined Anita Hawkins in the defense industries, and what their “Victory” party seeds produced.
See also: oral history interview with Alice Holmes-Washington available online at George State University Library.