Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of History


Steven Reich

Deborwah Faulk

Jessica Davidson

Emily Westkaemper


Discontent post-war Philadelphians had a full list of problems which the city had been dealing with since the beginning of the Great Depression. Conditions in the city had deteriorated so badly that by the late 1930s, a group of young middle-to-upper-class professionals who called themselves “Young Turks” began advocating for postwar progressivism in the city. These wealthy white male lawyers, architects, and university professors frequently met and discussed their reformative ideas within intellectual associations and gentleman’s clubs. During this same time period and inside the same city, two African American women born into affluent families in Philadelphia desired to design their own space, pointedly, for other women like themselves. Margaret Roselle Hawkins and Sarah Strickland Scott organized the first chapter of the Links on November 9, 1946, as a group of friends dedicated to serving their community, improving their own lives, and pursing excellence–concurrently ‘linking’ together educated Black women of higher status and ambition. The Links, Inc. as a collective and “fruitful Linkdom” focused on three different areas of interest: supporting Black women politically through the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), uplifting Black children, called Heir-O-Links, through social events like debutante balls and theater productions, and enriching their own social lives by hosting art exhibitions, festivals, and other special events.



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