Something Must Be Done: One Black Woman’s Story
Despite Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and pervasive discrimination, a substantial number of African Americans entered the middle class before World War I. This was a life-little known to outsiders-of college graduations, formal weddings, and singing around the piano in the parlor. Peggy Wood was born into such a world in 1912. Her memoir is a parting of the curtains that kept much of this world from view. For this reason, Something Must Be Done belongs on the shelf alongside Sarah and Elizabeth Delaney's 1993 classic Having Our Say. Peggy Wood memorably recounts her journey from Alabama's Tuskegee Institute to Atlanta and the School of Social Work. From the South the story moves to Lima, Ohio, and Poughkeepsie, New York, where she and her husband led black community centers. In 1950, the scene shifts to Syracuse, New York, where Peggy Wood was a social worker and active as a campaigner for civil rights for more than three decades.
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