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Through a contemporary lens, it's easy to think that the courts deemed segregation unconstitutional because it was the right thing to do or that a black athlete's performance had no bearing on race relations.

In actuality, there was shock each time blacks were granted civil rights.

The dawn of the twentieth century witnessed changes in almost every aspect of the day-today lives of women, from the domestic sphere to the public.

The women's movement, with its emphasis on advocacy of equal rights, newly formed women's organizations, and the rise of a new generation of female artists, photographers, and professionals, transformed the traditional patriarchal social structure across the globe.

Instead, audiences were presented with images of flappers or visions of glorified motherhood and marriage. Women authors such as Dorothy Richardson, May Sinclair, and Katherine Mansfield focused on topics pertinent to women, bringing attention to the myriad difficulties they faced redefining their identities in a changing world.

Women in the early twentieth century were perhaps most active and influential as writers and artists. Other major women writers of the period included Gertrude Stein, Virginia Woolf, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Edith Wharton.

The advent of the new century did witness a change in the style and content of women's writing, as well as an increase in the depiction of feminine images and themes in literature. In the arena of art, the early twentieth century provided growing opportunities for women to exhibit their work.

Looking back, the groundbreaking events that shaped black history may not seem all that shocking.

Women elsewhere, particularly women from other ethnic backgrounds, such as African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and Hispanics, lived much differently, struggling in their new roles as mothers and professionals.

The number of women who worked outside the home in the 1920s rose almost 50 percent throughout the decade.

The end of the nineteenth century saw tremendous growth in the suffrage movement in England and the United States, with women struggling to attain political equality.

The suffragists—who were often militant in their expressions of protest—presented a sometimes stark contrast to the feminine ideal of the era, which portrayed women as delicate, demure, and silent, confined to a domestic world that cocooned them from the harsh realities of the world.

The early decades of the twentieth century, often referred to as the Progressive Era, saw the emergence of a new image of women in society which had undergone a marked transformation from the demure, frail, female stereotype of the late Victorian Era.

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