Two events at Sarah Lawrence! Mimosa Brunch & Jessie Ramey Speaks

Thursday, September 23, 6:00PM
at the Wrexham Living Room

The Women’s History Graduate Program Presents:

A Child Care Crisis: Black and White Working Parents and the History of Orphanages: A Talk by Jessie Ramey ‘01

Despite our Charles Dickens-like cultural memory of orphanages as grim repositories of parentless children, most “orphans” at the turn of the twentieth century had one, and sometimes two, living parents. Reeling from the effects of the new urban, industrial economy, working-class families often confronted overlapping stressors, from low wages and factory accidents, to inadequate housing and the loss of a spouse, any of which could plunge them into a childcare crisis. Dr. Ramey’s research re-conceptualizes orphanages as a form of childcare, examining the way that working parents used the institutions as a family survival strategy from the 1880s through the 1920s. Continue reading