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Unpublished Paper
Sacrifice and Civic Membership: Who Earns Rights, and When?
  • Julie Novkov

This paper considers two moments that scholars generally agree featured advances for African Americans’ citizenship – the end of the Civil War and Reconstruction, and World War II and its immediate aftermath – and reads these moments through lenses of race and gender. I consider the conjunction of acknowledged sacrifices and contributions to the state, the rights advances achieved, and the gendered and racialized conceptions of citizen service emerging out of both post-war periods. This conjunction suggests that the kind of citizenship that people of color gained during and after wartime crises depended upon gendered and racialized hierarchies that valued the masculine service of soldiering by African American men but provided no parallel framework for valuing feminine service – because the path of producing and rearing children for the state was closed to women of color as a form of valued and desired civic service

  • law,
  • history,
  • American Political Development,
  • race,
  • gender,
  • sexuality
Publication Date
Summer May, 2008
Citation Information
Julie Novkov. "Sacrifice and Civic Membership: Who Earns Rights, and When?" (2008)
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