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Becoming Muslim in Imperial RussiaConversion, Apostasy, and Literacy$
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Agnès Nilüfer Kefeli

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452314

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452314.001.0001

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Tailors, Sufis, and Abïstays

Tailors, Sufis, and Abïstays

Agents of Change

(p.117) Chapter Three Tailors, Sufis, and Abïstays
Becoming Muslim in Imperial Russia

Agnès Nilüfer Kefeli

Cornell University Press

This chapter shows how numerous black club women across the country claimed Shakespeare for their own educational and social agendas. These women saw knowledge of Shakespeare as a way to attain intellectual development and social progress and frequently included Shakespeare as part of their educational programs, but they usually read Shakespeare in ways very different from those employed by the white women's clubs already discussed. First, few black clubs read only Shakespeare. Rather, the most common practice was to read Shakespeare as part of a wider curriculum that included other classic authors, African American writers, women authors, and usually a substantial component of civic work, more so than for most white women's clubs. In this context, reading Shakespeare was not the only goal for most black women readers, but it was a significant step in their commitment to education as a component of racial progress.

Keywords:   black club women, black women readers, racial progress, black clubs, civic work, educational programs

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