Domestics

Big Momma and ‘dem” Made Their Way to Cook and Clean . . .

—By Doria Johnson America is known as a country of suburbs, and the evolution of them during the 20th century is usually thought of in terms of elite, white enclaves. Some were industrial suburbs, which attracted factory and unskilled laborers. Some were, like Evanston, known as ‘domestic service suburbs’, which ... Read More

Wilmette: An Early North Shore African American Community

— Short Series — The growth of the African American communities in Chicago’s suburban North Shore was unique. Instead of first settling in Chicago, most early settlers came directly to these North Shore communities. Whether escaping from slavery or returning from Canada after the Civil War, The North Shore has ... Read More
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Carrie Crawford Smith’s “Back Door Leadership”. . .

. . . and the Smith Employment Agency, 1918-1954; Connecting Domestic Help with Chicago’s North Shore’s Wealthiest Clientele by Doria Dee Johnson— A wealthy white woman phoned the Smith Employment Agency frustrated that none of her “help” worked out—the domestic labor she hired seemed to turnover after short stays. Her ... Read More