Racism at the Woman’s Club

While the Woman’s Club challenged social conventions on gender and class, it like many of its counterparts across the nation remained discriminatory towards African Americans and other racial minorities. The Woman’s Club of Wilmette, as conditional to their membership in the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, did not collaborate with Black-run women’s clubs in the Chicago area.

The Woman’s Club hosted minstrel shows until the practice declined nationally in the 1950s and 1960s. According to our archives, the Woman’s Club hosted at least two minstrel shows, on April 14th, 1939, and April 2nd, 1941.

To learn more about racial discrimination in Wilmette, visit our exhibit:

Racism: A History