1930 : Housewives’ League Founded in Detroit

June 10, 2018 all-day

On June 10, 1930, Fannie Peck founded the Housewives’ League for African-American homemakers in Detroit — which asked its members to patronize black-owned businesses to ensure they stayed afloat during the Great Depression and to keep their money in their community. The club would eventually go national.

Within four years, the Housewives’ League had 10,000 members.

It also had an activist streak, as members urged businesses to hire black workers. For example, in the late 1940s, it organized a selective buying campaign against A&P stores over that issue.

The Housewives’ League, which even had an anthem, disbanded in the 1960s. Peck died in 1970.

The black economic development advocate and her husband, the Rev. William Peck, pastor of Detroit’s historic Bethel A.M.E. Church, were named Urban League Distinguished Warriors posthumously in 1984.

Source : Zlati Meyer, “This Week in Michigan History”, Detroit Free Press, June 10, 2012.

For more information, see Tamara Barnes, “Buying, Boosting, and Building With the National Housewives’ League”, Michigan History, March/April 2013.

Also see Remaking respectability : African American women in interwar Detroit / Victoria W. Wolcott.  Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, 2001.

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