- Loew, Patty. “The Back of the Homefront: Black and American Indian Women in Wisconsin during World War II”. Wisconsin Magazine of History. 1998 Winter-1999 Winter; 82(2):82-103.
Notes: Based on oral histories conducted between 1992 and 1994 with seven Wisconsin minority women (three Ojibwe and four African-Americans) about their experiences on the home front during World War II, this article describes how Native-American and African-American women in Wisconsin met the challenges they faced in trying to support their families during the war. While jobs for minority women before the war had generally been restricted to the domestic service sector, during the Second World War some better-paying opportunities did open up for them and Loew carefully discusses those changes. Some factory jobs even became available to minority women in larger cities and Nellie Wilson of Milwaukee, who worked in the A.O. Smith Corporation’s steel factory as a precision inspector during the war, is one of the women featured in this article. Even during the war, however, minority women in rural areas faced an incredibly narrow range of job opportunities; on the Native-American reservations, for instance, often the only work available for paid wages was the seasonal harvesting of crops, such as cranberries, blueberries, and wild rice.