Saturday, March 1, 2008

The First Etiquette Book For Black Women

Since today kicks off Women's History Month, I thought it would be fun to share this book with you.

The Colored Girl Beautiful published in 1916 by Emma Azalia Smith Hackley (1867-1922) is the believed to be first documented and widely circulated etiquette book targeted to Black women. Hackley, who used the ‘stage name’ Madame E. Azalia Hackley, was a professional classical singer/philanthropist/social worker/activist at the turn of the century. She was frequently called upon to lecture to young Black women about etiquette at various HBCUs.

The book’s dedication is “to colored women in whom I have faith and to colored children whom I love…” and covers a multitude of contemporary topics including, “Love,” “Personal Appearance,” “Her Relationship with Men,” and “The Colored Working Girl.”

There are so many rich ‘pearls of wisdom’ that have applicability even today. I encourage you to check it out!