Carla L. Peterson | New York Times
When my great-grand-aunt Maritcha Lyons recalled in her memoir that the backroom of James McCune Smith’s store served as a “rallying centre” for public-minded black New Yorkers, she was quite specific about those who came and went. Smith’s room, she wrote advisedly, was “visited daily by men, young and old.” It was these men, she continued, who constituted the “constructive force that molded public sentiment which had much to do in bringing about a more favorable state of things affecting the colored people of the State.”
Why were women not among those who visited Smith’s backroom?
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