In the fight for equality, early feminists often cited the
infantilization of women and men of color as a method used to keep
them out of power. Corinne T. Field argues that attaining
adulthood--and the associated political rights, economic
opportunities, and sexual power that come with it--became a common
goal for both white and African American feminists between the
American Revolution and the Civil War. The idea that black men and
all women were more like children than adult white men proved
difficult to overcome, however, and continued to serve as a
foundation for racial and sexual inequality for generations.
In detailing the connections between the struggle for equality and
concepts of adulthood, Field provides an essential historical
context for understanding the dilemmas black and white women still
face in America today, from "glass ceilings" and debates over
welfare dependency to a culture obsessed with youth and beauty.
Drawn from a fascinating past, this book tells the history of how
maturity, gender, and race collided, and how those affected came
together to fight against injustice.