Ethnicity, Race, and Women’s Work in Mid-Nineteenth Century West Virginia Cities
The Marsden sisters, born in England, were milliners. Louisa Rockerbraun, from Germany, was a grocer, and Anne Lee was an African-American prostitute in Wheeling, Virginia, before the Civil War. They were unusual because they were not domestics or washwomen – the jobs that most immigrant women, and most African-American women had, in Wheeling, Parkersburg, Martinsburg, and Charleston, West Virginia, by 1870. The stories of the Marsdens, Rockerbraun, Lee, and the hundreds of other immigrant and African-American women in these cities help us understand the ways in which women earned their living in these cities and the impact of ethnicity and race on their choices.
Putting the Pieces Together
Putting the Pieces Together: Teaching in Tandem about Race, Class, Ethnicity, and Gender at an Appalachian Regional University
What happens in the classroom of a regional university in Appalachia when an Introduction to Sociology class and a Writing II class are paired? When both professors focus on issues of entitlement–issues of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality–student interest is piqued, the quality of work becomes appreciably better, and student retention of material is enhanced. During the Spring, 1999 semester, we were fortunate to be able to teach together in “paired” classes. Connie’s materials for Introduction to Sociology and the reading materials and discussion Patti used as a springboard to writing worked to the benefit of students in both classes. We had this opportunity because education reform in Kentucky (reform mandated from Kindergarten through College) has as a focus interdisciplinary pairings of CORE curriculum classes, particularly writing and subject area classes. Individually, we had presented critiques of class, gender, ethnicity, race and sexuality, but we found that making connections between readings, media presentations, and discussions made a more satisfying and deeper learning experience for students and provided increased satisfaction for us as teachers because of the increase in student interest and comprehension.