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Tera Hunter @TeraWHunter
, 5 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
These were “work or fight” laws originally issued during World War I to require able bodied men to either serve in the military or find civilian jobs. In the South, there was already a long tradition of coercing black labor through vagrancy laws. Black men were disproportionately
arrested under “work or fight”. But the white South originated something wholly unintended in the law by targeting black WOMEN. A military conscription was used as a pretext to force them to work as domestics in white homes, at precisely the time other jobs were opening up
for them in the war industry. Maintaining white domesticity was considered too important to sacrifice and thus was treated like a war aim. White women were not expected to perform their own cleaning, cooking, washing because that was consigned to black women.
Hence they were not allowed to take advantage of the “free market” offering up expanded opportunities. New tricks of the (old) trade. I discuss these in To ‘Joy My Freedom. #DomesticWorkers #Labor
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