July, 2016

Historians have brought attention to African American women’s contributions to planning, specifically as it relates to housing and social service program delivery. This article builds upon that scholarship by adding the work of the Farmers’ Improvement Society and its Women’s Barnyard Auxiliary, African American mutual aid groups active and founded during the Progressive Era. This article foregrounds the contributions of this racial uplift group to planning practice and scholarship. Second, the article sheds light on the unique approach to planning rural, poor mutual aid groups employed. Finally, this article complicates popular assumptions about similar Progressive Era, ‘‘Uplift Movement’’ groups. 

The Farmers’ Improvement Society and the Women’s Barnyard Auxiliary of Texas: African American Community Building in the Progressive Era cover
Farmers’ Improvement Society bylaws

Andrea Roberts

photo of Andrea Roberts