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U. S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
W. B. W ILSON. Secretary

THE NEGRO AT WORK
DURING THE WORLD WAR
AND DURING RECONSTRUCTION
STATISTICS. PROBLEMS, AND POLICIES RELATING TO
THE GREATER INCLUSION OF NEGRO WAGE EARNERS




IN AMERICAN INDUSTRY AND AGRICULTURE

DIVISION OF NEGRO ECONOMICS
GEORGE E. H AYNES. Ph. D .. Director

SECOND STUDY ON NEGRO LABOR

WASHINGTON
GOVERNM ENT PRINTING OFFICE

1921




CONTENTS,
Page.

Letter of transm ittal........................................................................................................
5
Introduction......................................................................................................................
7
Chapter I. M igration, its causes and volum e................................................
10
II. Creation of office, D irector of Negro E conom ics....................
12
II I . Early results of Negro Econom ics Service................... .............
19
Problem s of Negro Labor...........................................................
20
IV . Cooperation w ithin the departm ent...............................................
22
V . Negro labor and racial relationships at Chicago.....................
26
V I. W hite and Negro workers in basic industries.........................
32
V II. Statistics on the m eat-packing and steel industries..............
52
V III. Negro labor in the United States shipyards............................
58
R ecord-breaking Negro workers..........................................
62
IX . R eport of work in Florida and Georgia................................
64
X . R eport of work in Illin ois...........................................................
68
X I. R eport of work in M ichigan.......................................................
77
X I I . R eport of work in M ississippi.................................................... . 82
X I I I . R eport of work in New Jersey.....................................................
88
X IV . R eport of work in New York*................................... >.................
95
X V . R eport of work in North Carolina.............................................
97
X V I. R eport of work in O hio...............................................................
105
X V II. R eport of work in Pennsylvania...............................................
116
X V III. R eport of work in V irginia............................................................
119
X IX . Negro women in industry..............................................................
124
X X . Recom m endations on scope of departmental authority.......
134
TABLES*. '
T able I. U nskilled w hite and Negro male workers in selected typical war
industries................................................................................................
II. Average hours of work and average earnings.....................................
III. Opinions of 38 em ployers of Negro labor...............................................
IV . M eat-packing em ployees..........................................................................
V . M eat-packing em ployees (w ith graphs)..............................................
V I. Negro em ployees in eight principal shipyard districts....................

34
45
50
53
54
60

A PPE N D IX E S.
A ppendix I . “ Labor and V ictory ” ..........................................................................
137
II. Constitution, North Carolina State Com m ittee...............................
139
III. Constitution, O hio State Com m ittee.............................^ ...............
141
IV . Constitution, K entucky State C om m ittee........................................
143




3




LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL.
U n it e d S t a t e s D e p a r t m e n t o f L a b o r ,
D iv is io n o f N e g r o E c o n o m ic s ,

Washington, D . C., A pril 1,1920.
I have the honor of transmitting herewith a bulletin cover­
ing, in brief, some of the work of the Division of Negro Economics,
established by you onMay 1,1918, and functioning through your imme­
diate office since that time, together with some valuable data giving
the actual experiences of Negroes in industrial occupations, 19181919. The publication was planned, in part, by my assistant, Karl
F. Phillips, who also constructed the statistical and other tables
contained in the report and who from the beginning and throughout
the continuation o f the work has given a most competent and highly
efficient service to the department and to the public.
You will note that the bulletin contains summarized statements of
the policies and plans which you approved for this special service to
Negro wage earners, their employers, and associates, and that concise
statistical reports and data have been included. The graphs amplify­
ing one of the larger tables were prepared by the Bureau of Labor
Statistics. I may say that the files of the Division of Negro Eco­
nomics contain a mass of similar material, but that owing to lack of
funds and clerical help it was not practicable to endeavor to prepare
any more material than that which appears in the report.
In transmitting this bulletin I desire to thank the public-spirited
citizens, white and colored, in organizations and as individuals, who
gave prompt and voluntary assistance of untold value in promoting
the work throughout the States and localities in which it was conduct­
ed. I desire to thank, also, the Federal, State, and private agencies
for their unlimited cooperation and advice at all times. Within the
department itself I am grateful to you, to the chiefs and heads of the
various divisions and bureaus, and especially to the office of the
Assistant Secretary and of the Solicitor for unfailing interest and
assistance.
The office and field staff of the division deserves special commenda­
tion for untiring zeal and close application in carrying forward the
many delicate and difficult tasks growing out of the work almost daily.
I desire again to call your attention to the recommendations cited
on pages 134-136 of this bulletin, which, you will recall, were included
in my memorandum report to you on the racial situation in Chicago.
Respectfully,
G e o r g e E. H a y n e s ,
Director o f Negro Economics.
Hon. W. B. W il s o n ,
Secretary o f Labor.
Sir :




5




THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR AND
DURING RECONSTRUCTION.

INTRODUCTION.

The entrance of Negroefe into industries, particularly in the North
during the great war led to many questions: What particular indus­
tries aid they enter? In what kinds of occupations were they most
generally employed? Were they unskilled, semiskilled, or slrilled?
How did they measure up to the average number of working hours
and average earnings as compared with the white workmen? What
was the estimate and opinion of employers who tried them? How
did they compare with white workmen in the same establishments
and on the same jobs as to absenteeism, turn-over, quality of work
produced, and speed in turning out quantity ?
Some of the chapters of this bulletin bring together the best
available data in an attempt to answer some of these questions with
the facts. Obviously, the data is very limited in scope and neces­
sarily fragmentary. It would, therefore, be unwise and unscientific
to make any large generalizations based upon so limited an amount of
data. What is presented, however, has been carefully gathered and
collated, and, therefore, gives some definite indications and informa­
tion where information has been heretofore very limited. Whatever
analysis and comment have been made upon the tables and figures
may be readily weighed in the light of the accompanying data them­
selves.
Facts and figures, however, are only bases of information upon
which to build programs and plans of action. Negro workers are
employed for the most part by White employers and work in the
same industries and often on the same jobs with white workers.
Their relations with these employers and other workers frequently
assume racial as well as labor aspects. In such adjustments as were
required during the war, when industries were calling as never before
for all kinds of workers, activities which proved successful and
valuable in promoting the welfare of these wage-earners and in im­
proving their relations to employers and other workers were exceed­
ingly important parts of the machinery of organized production.
The plans ana activities of the Department of Labor for dealing
with these matters are experiences of permanent and instructive
value, especially because of the hearty and successful response re­
ceived from white and Negro citizens m many States and localities.
A part of this bulletin, therefore, gives a summary of these plans and
activities of the Division of Negro Economics m the office of the
Secretary of Labor. The account shows the general program, the



7

8

TH E NEGRO AT WORK -DURING THE WORLD WAR.

facts and principles upon which it was based, and how it was carried
out in the several States with the hearty indorsement and coopera­
tion of governors and other State and local officials and of white and
colored citizens, both in organizations and as individuals.
The first table of figures of Chapter VI gives clear indications of
the distribution in 26 States of 129,708 white men and 62,340 Negro
men in unskilled occupations of 292 different firms engaged in various
war industries in 1918. Table II of the same chapter gives full det ails
of the classification of occupations as skilled, semiskilled, and un­
skilled, the average number of hours worked per week, and the
average earnings per week and per hour of 4,260 white men and
2,722 Negro men in 194 occupations in 23 separate establishments
engaged m basic industrial operations of foundries (both iron and
steel), slaughtering and meat packing, automobile manufacture,
coke ovens, manufacture of iron and steel and their products, and
in glass manufacture. This table is accompanied by some comment,
analyzing the comparison of white and Negro workmen on the points
covered m each of the three general occupational classes. A sup­
plementary part of this table gives similar figures for 153 white women
and 83 Negro women in slaughtering and meat packing. Table III
of this chapter gives in tabular form the; opinions of 38 employers of
Negro workers as to the attitude of their firms toward Negro labor,
the opportunities for promotion, and their opinion on the compara­
tive behavior of white and Negro employees. The 38 firms repre­
sented were employing at that time 108,215 white workers and 6,757
Negro workers. These opinions, therefore, are fairly representative
of the state of mind of northern employers in 1918—
il).
Slaughtering and meat packing and iron and steel were such im­
portant industries and employed such large numbers of Negroes
during the war that special reports were secured through courtesy
o f plants carrying on these two industries. Chapter Y ll gives in
considerable detail the tables and analyses of white ana Negro
workers for the first of these industries and adds additional dis­
cussion to that of Chapter VI on the iron and steel establishments.
Tables IV and V of this chapter give the number and per cent of
distribution o f the white and Negro employees, male and female, of
two slaughtering and meat-packing plants for 30 weeks beginning
July 13, 1918, and 159 weeks beginning January, 1916, respectively.
On the basis o f these tables two diagrams have been made and arc
included in the chapter, making these figures of the total numbers
and percentages readily perceptible to the casual reader. There was
no more important nor interesting work than that in the shipyards
during the war. “ Ships, ships, and more ships” was the call from
Europe. It has not been feasible to get all the figures for all the
shipyards where Negroes were employed during the war, but a full
record o f the Negro employees at shipbuilding plants under the juris­
diction o f the United States Shipping Board, Emergency Fleet Cor­
poration, were secured through courtesy of that board. This activity
of Negro wage-earners assumed such important proportions that the
material justifies a separate chapter—Chapter YlII. Table VI of
this chapter gives these figures for occupations of 24,648 Negro men
during the war and 14,075 after the war and until September, 1919.
They are classified both as a whole into skilled and unskilled and by
specific occupations for each of the eight shipyard districts under the




THE NEGRO AT W ORK.DURING THE WORLD WAR.

9

Emergency Fleet Corporation. Some analysis of the figures given
in this chapter indicates their significance.
Unfortunately this study of Negro wage-earners does not include
data of their labor on the railroads, in the mines, in agriculture, and
in domestic service, except as some of these are included in some of
the figures given in the several tables below, and in the State reports
of activities of the State supervisors of Negro Economics, notably
in Chapter X V I on Ohio, in Chapter X on Illinois, in Chapter X I I on
Mississippi, and in Chapter X V on North Carolina.
The original plan for this bulletin contemplated the inclusion of
these groups. The activities of the department embraced measures
to promote their welfare, their efficiency, and to improve their rela­
tions and opportunities. During this study efforts were made with­
out satisfactory results to get comprehensive figures and facts from
the United States Railroad Administration on this subj ect because their
figures were not compiled separately. Figures for the other groups
also could not be obtained from any available sources. There were
not funds at hand for the Department of Labor to study these occu­
pational groups with a staff of its own. It was deemed best, therefore,
to await further provision for such study rather than attempt to
include uncertain statements and insufficient and inexact data. The
experience of the department in touching these fields demonstrates
their importance and justifies this postponement until they can be
properly studied.
Special note should be made of the sincere and effective cooperation
of Mr. Ethelbert Stewart, Director of the Investigation and Inspection
Service, whose staff workers were directed so effectively in the col­
lection of a considerable amount of the statistical data included in
several of the chapters.
The Women’s Bureau (formerly the Woman in Industry Service),
first under Miss Mary Van Kleeck as director and now under Miss
Mary Anderson as director, has given effective attention to the ques­
tions affecting Negro women workers in industry and their relations
to white women workers. During the war Mrs. Helen B. Irvin, as
special agent of the Woman in Industry Service, assisted a part of the
time by Mrs. Elizabeth R. Haynes as a dollar-a-year worker, made
visits and inspections of a number of establishments that were em­
ploying Negro women. A summary of Mrs. Irvin’s reports about
firms employing approximately 21,547 Negro women and girls is
given in Chapter X IX .
This discussion gives the general End of
industrial and other work in which these women were employed,
indicates some of the problems arising out of their entrance in large
number* into such work, and describes some of the typical condi­
tions under which they labored.
The records of the activities of the State supervisors of Negro
Economics speak for themselves in Chapters I X to X V III. The
men in the field who followed the series of conferences and supervised
on the ground the formation of State and local Negro workers’ ad­
visory committees in the counties, towns, and cities of 11 States,
with the necessary local routine to make effective the cooperation of
white and colored citizens in meeting their many difficult and deli­
cate racial labor problems, deserve high commendation as volunteer
officers in the third line of defense in industry and agriculture which
labored to make the world safe for democracy.




CHAPTER I.
MIGRATION.

Shortage o f labor in northern industries was the direct cause of
the increased Negro migration during the war period. This direct
cause was, o f course, augmented by other causes, among which were
the increased dissatisfaction with conditions in the South— the
ravages .of the boll weevil, floods, change of crop system, low wages,
and poor houses and schools.
A previous bulletin of the department summed up the causes as
follows:
Other causes assigned at the southern end are numerous: General dissatisfaction
w ith conditions, ravages o f b oll w eevil, floods, change of crop system, low wages,
poor houses on plantations, poor school facilities, unsatisfactory crop settlem ents,
rough treatm ent, lynching, desire for travel, labor agents, the Negro press, letters from
friends in the N orth, and finally advice of w hite friends in the South where crops had
failed.

The Department of Labor estimates the Negro migration in figures
of from 400,000 to 600,000. _ Other estimates, ranging from 300.000 to
800,000, have been made b y individual experts ana hv private bureaus.
Such a variation of figures goes to show the wide scope of the migration.
Prior to the war penod the Negro worker had been sparsely located in
the North, but the laws of self-preservation of the industrial and agri­
cultural assets of our country and the law o f demand and supply t urned
almost overnight both into war and private industries hundreds of
thousands o f Negro workers, among whom there were laborers, molders, carpenters, blacksmiths, painters, janitors, chauffeurs, machinist
laborers, and a mass of other workers, comprising, probably, nearly
every type o f skilled, semiskilled, and unskilled labor.
The most marked effects of the migration were easily determinable.
First, the agricultural regions of the Southern States, particularly
Mississippi and Louisiana, began to suffer for want of the Negro
worker who had so long tilled the soil of those regions. On the other
hand, the Negro workers who had been turned into the plants of the
North faced the necessity of performing efficient work in the mini­
mum amount of time, of adjusting themselves to northern condi­
tions and of becoming fixtures in their particular line of employ­
ment, or becoming “ floaters.”
It is interesting to review for a moment some of the wage scales
in Southern States. In 1917 about $12 a month was being paid for
farm labor in many sections. In other sections 75 cents and SI a
day were considered equitable wages. During the harvesting of
rice in the “ grinding season” the amount was usually increased to
$1.25 and $1.75 per day, with a possible average of $1.50. Cotton
was always considered a cheap-labor crop, about which one man has
said:
The w orld has gone on thinking that the farm labor in the South should work for
75 cents or $1 a day when all other labor is getting $1.50 and $2 per day.

10




THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

11

The States which contributed most largely to the masses of mi­
grants were North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama,
Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, and Tennessee. The mi­
grants from those States rapidly supplemented the Negro workers
already sparsely employed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Michigan,
Illinois, and West Virginia.1
i
i See Negro Migration in 1916-17, Department of Labor bulletin.




Government Printing Office. 1919.

CHAPTER TI.
CREATION OP THE OFFICE OF DIRECTOR OF NEGRO
ECONOMICS.

In view of the perplexing questions with regard to Negroes in in­
dustry and agriculture and the migration o f Negroes from the South
to the North during 1916, 1917, and 1918, upon representations of
white and Negro citizens and several influential organizations dealing
particularly with Negro life and race relations, the Secretary of Labor,
Hon. William B. Wilson, after consideration and favorable recommen­
dation by his Advisory Council on the war organization of the Depart­
ment of Labor, decided to create the position of adviser on Negro
labor in his immediate office, with the title of Director of Negro
Economics. The function of this official was to advise the Secretary
and the directors and chiefs of the several bureaus and divisions of
the department on matters relating to Negro wage earners, and to
outline and promote plans for greater cooperation between Negro wage
earners, white employers, and white workers in agriculture and
industry.
In starting this work the Secretary stated that as Negroes con­
stitute about one-tenth o f the total population of the country and
about one-seventh of the working population, it was reasonable and
right that they should have representation at the council table when
matters affecting them were being considered and decided. In de­
fining the function of the office o f the Director of Negro Economics
the Secretary decided that the advice of the director should be secured
before any work dealing with Negro wage earners was undertaken and
that he be kept advised of the progress of such work so that the
Department might have, at all times, the benefit of his judgment in
all matters affecting Negroes.
Accordingly, on May 1,1918, the Secretary of Labor called to that
position Dr. George E. Haynes, professor of sociologv and economics at
Fisk University and one of the secretaries of the National League on
Urban Conditions among Negroes. Dr. Haynes was strongly recom­
mended by manv individuals and organizations, among them being
the Commercial Club of Nashville, Tenn., his home city.
The Secretary of Labor, with the advice of the Director of Negro
Economics, early in May, 1918, considered and approved plans out­
lining three types of activities for dealing with problems of Negro
workers in their relations to white workers and white employers, as
follows:
1. The organization o f cooperative com m ittees of w hite and colored citizens in the
States and localities where problem s of Negro labor arise, due to large numbers of Negro
workers.
2. The developm ent of a p u blicity or educational campaign to create good feeling
between the races and to have both w hite and Negro citizens understand and cooperate
with the purpose and plans of the departm ent.
12




THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

13

3.
The appointm ent of Negro staff workers in the States and localities to develop
this organization of com m ittees, to conduct this work of better racial labor relations,
and to assist the several divisions and services of the departm ent in m obilizing and
stabilizing Negro labor for winning the war.

In undertaking to carry out the three parts of this plan, the office
of the Secretary recognized two main difficulties:
1. The d ifficu lty of forestalling a strong feeling of suspicion on the part of the colored
people, growing out of their past experiences in racial and labor matters.
2. The difficu lty of forestalling a wrong im pression among w hite people, especially
those in the South, about the efforts of the departm ent, and of having them understand
that the departm ent wishes to help them in local labor problem s b y means of its plans.

These cardinal facts were also given due consideration:
1. The tw o races are thrown together in their daily work, the m ajority of the em­
ployers and a large num ber of the em ployees having relations w ith Negro em ployees
being w hite persons. These conditions give rise to misunderstandings, prejudices,
antagonisms, fears, and suspicions. These facts m ust be recognized and dealt w ith in
a statesmanlike manner.
2. The problem s are local in character, arising, as they do, between local em ployers
and local em ployees. The people, however, in local com m unities, need the vision of
national policies, plans, ana standards to apply to their local situations.
3. A ny plan or program should be based upon the desire and need of cooperation
between w hite em ployers and representatives of Negro wage earners, and, wherever
possible, w hite wage earners.

FIELD ORGANIZATION—CONFERENCES AND COMMITTEES.
The first step in setting up the field organization was a preliminary
trip of the Director of Negro Economics to strategic centers in a
number of States where Negro workers’ problems were of pressing
importance. Through preliminary correspondence, informal con­
ferences and interviews were held with representative white and
Negro citizens from different parts of each State visited. These
interviews and conferences established the first points of sympathetic
contact for cooperation in subsequent efforts to improve labor condi­
tions and race relations.^
These preliminary visits laid the foundation for subsequent work.
For instance, the North Carolina conference, called by Hon. T. W.
Bickett, Govempr of the State and described below, which set the
model for other Southern States, grew out of such a preliminary
visit. The creation of the Negro workers’ committees of Virginia
and the cooperation of the Negro Organization Society of that State
grew out of a similar visit on the trip. Similar results followed the
connections made in other States.
Upon the visit to a State, officials of State and private schools for
Negroes, of the State councils of defense, representatives of the
chambers of commerce, of the United States Employment Service,
and of white and Negro* colleges promised cooperation and assistance
in the efforts of the department to stimulate Negro wage earners by
improving their condition in such a way as to increase tneir efficiency
for maximum production to win the war.
The first of a series of State conferences of representative white and
Negro citizens was called on June 19, 1918, by Hon. T. W. Bickett,
Governor of North Carolina, at his office in the State capitol at
Raleigh. There were present at this conference 17 of the most sub­
stantial Negroes from all parts of the State and five white citizens;



14

TH E NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

including the governor, who presided throughout the conference and
took an active part in the proceedings.
The plans of the Department of Labor for increasing the morale
and efficiency of Negro workers were outlined by the Director of
Negro Economics and freely discussed. At the close of the meeting
the governor appointed a temporary committee which drafted a
constitution providing for a State Negro Workers’ Advisory Com­
mittee and for the organization of local countv and city committees.
This plan of organization, with slight modifications and readjust­
ments, later served as a model for other States in the development of
a voluntary field organization which was set up in the course of the
next six months in four other southern States, and six northern
States. Gov. Bickett was so highly pleased with the result of the
conference that he issued a statement to the public press saying that
this meeting was one of the most patriotic and helpful conferences he
had ever attended.
A State meeting of white and colored citizens was held by the
Southern Sociological Congress at Gulfport, Miss., July 12, 1918.
The congress extended an invitation to the Director of Negro Eco­
nomics to address the meeting. About 200 white citizens, business
men and planters, and about 75 Negro citizens of the State were in
attendance. The department took advantage of thisStategathering to
call together those who were especially interested in the adjustment of
Negro labor problems. The address" of the Director of Negro Eco­
nomics before the congress received a hearty response from both
whites and Negroes present, and as a result several of the white citi­
zens took an active part in the conference, which worked out a plan
of State-wide organization similar to the one adopted by North
Carolina.
On the basis of the precedent set by Gov. Bickett and the success
at the Gulfport meeting of the Southern Sociological Congress, Hon.
Sidney Catts, Governor of Florida, called a conference of white ami
Negro citizens at Jacksonville, on July 10,1918. After full discussion
of plans and procedure this conference adopted a program and formed
a State Negro Workers’ Advisory Committee composed of representa­
tive white and colored citizens under the auspices of the State Council
of National Defense and the United States Employment Service. A
program of activities was worked out, having as its object the pro­
motion of better conditions and a better understanding of employ­
ment matters relating to the Negroes of Florida in order that greater
production of food and war supplies might be the result. So great
was the enthusiasm on the day of the conference that the citizens of
Jacksonville, white and colored, held a monster mass meeting, at
which the governor, the Director of Negro Economics, and other
officials spoke.
In the meantime, through the help of the Negro Organization
Society of Virginia, the Negro W o rk e d Advisory Committee of that
State was organized and the first supervisor of Negro economics, a
Negro citizen of training and experience, T. C. Erwin, was appointed
and undertook the direction of advisor}’ work in the State.
The next step was to get the work and organization launched in
northern territory. Ohio was selected for the initial effort, and on
August 5, 1918, a conference was called bv the department with the
hearty help of the Federal Director of the Ignited States Employment




THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

15

Service and Hon. James M. Cox, governor of Ohio. This conference
met at the State Capitol at Columbus and was notable for the num­
ber in attendance, and the enthusiasm and readiness with which they
worked out a plan of State-wide organization. There were present
about 125 persons— white employers, Negro wage earners, and rep­
resentatives of white wage earners. The afternoon session was closed
with a splendid address by the governor. The conference adopted
the usual plan of State organization and Charles E. Hall, the second
supervisor of Negro economics, was assigned to the State to develop
the organization and to supervise the work, under the auspices of
the United States Employment Service office.
One other conference, that held in Louisville, Ky.,-August 6,1918,
needs to be described as showing one other slight variation in the
far-reaching significance of the cooperative plan of organization.
This conference was unique in that the plan o f organization adopted
was that of a united war-work committee made up jointly by those
representing the State Council of Defense, United States Food Ad­
ministration, United States Department of Agriculture, and the
United States Department of Labor, white and colored citizens being
the persons representing these various interests. The conference
was noted for its enthusiasm. Hon. A. O. Stanley, governor of Ken­
tucky, made an enthusiastic address to the conference and a large
mass meeting followed in the evening.
By the time of the Kentucky conference, three months after the first
lans were outlined, the influence of the State conferences and their
easibility were so well proved as a means of starting a State move­
ment ana creating good will and favorable sentiment that other con­
ferences followed as a matter of course in setting up the State work.
Additional conferences in 1918 were held in Georgia, Missouri, Illinois,
Michigan, and New Jersey.
A national informal conference was called by the Secretary of
Labor and met in Washington, D. C., February 17-18, 1919. This
conference included men and women representing welfare and social
service organizations, both North and South, of both Negroes and
white people, in order that the views and interests of all sections
and of both races might be ascertained. The keynote of the confer­
ence was sounded by the Secretary of Labor in welcoming the repre­
sentatives. He saia:

f

Congress in defining the duties of the Departm ent of Labor made no distinction
either as to sex or race, and, I-m ay add, as to previous condition of servitude. We
were authorized to promote the welfare of wage earners, whether men or women or
children, whether they were w hite or colored, whether they were native bom or alien
residents; and in the undertaking to prom ote the welfare of the wage workers we have
not assumed that it was our duty to promote the welfare of the wageworker at the
expense of the plans of the com m unity but to promote the welfare of the wageworker,
having due respect to the rights of all other portions of our population.

The Assistant Secretary of Labor, Louis F. Post, in addressing the
conference said:
I t is the function of the Departm ent of Labor to look after the interests of all wage
earners of any race, any age, or either sex.

Special subjects were discussed, as follows:
Lines of work w hich should be undertaken for im proving race relations and con­
ditions of Negro workers.




16

TH E NEGRO AT WORK DURING TH E WORLD WAR.
Conduct and toleration as necessary for cooperation and good w ill between Negro
and w hite workers.
Special problem s of women in industry.
The Negro land tenants and farm laborers and what agencies may do to help them.
E ducation and Negro workers.

On the second day the informal conference gave most of its time
to the general topic: “ Unity of action in local communities to secure
efficiency and cooperation of welfare agencies and methods, by
which the Department of Labor and other governmental agencies
can best cooperate with private agencies and organizations.”
In a set of resolutions adopted and recommended to the Secretary
of Labor the following important points are set forth:
RESOLUTION ON PLAN OF COOPERATIVE ORGANIZATION ADOPTED AT INFORMAL CON­
FERENCE ON NEGRO LABOR PROBLEM S, FEBRUARY 17 AND 18, 1919, AS APPROVED
BY THE SECRETARY OF LABOR.

Whereas the im provem ent of conditions of Negro wage earners and the im provem ent
of relations of white em ployers, of white wage earners and of Negro wage earners are
questions of great im portance for the advancem ent of the welfare of all wage earners
in Am erica; and
Whereas the several organizations and agencies specifically interested in prom oting
the better adjustm ent of Negro wage earners to Am erican .life need to work in closer
cooperation:
Therefore, It behooves representatives of such boards, agencies and organizations
interested in such questions to adopt measures of cooperative organization, of action,
and of p olicy that w ill foster constructive work along these lines.
W e, therefore, the representatives of such organizations, invited to an inform al con­
ference in Washington Tby the Secretary of Labor, do hereby recom mend and ask the
Secretary to use his good offices in laying before the organizations represented, and
any other organizations that may be interested, a plan of cooperative organization and
effort on the follow ing general lines:
1. That local efforts to influence em ployers of Negro workers to provide welfare
facilities be undertaken, join tly, b y all the agencies attem pting to do such work in a
com m unity; and that the local representatives of the Department of Labor be used as
far as practicable as a channel through w hich the experiences and m ethods of the sev­
eral agencies shall seek exchange in these local efforts.
W here there is no such local governm ental organization or representative of the
Departm ent of Labor, and several agencies desire to act, that they request the Depart­
m ent of Labor to assist them in getting such a neutral channel of cooperation.
2. That our several agencies, boards and organizations, which undertake the organi­
zation of any work or the expenditure of any funds for im proving the living and neigh­
borhood conditions of Negro workers in local com m unities seek to becom e inform ed of
similar plans of other agencies, boards and organizations before deciding on plans or
takingaction.
3. That the Department of Labor be asked to furnish such inform ation and to
provide such facilities as are necessary for keeping the agencies, boards and organiza­
tions inform ed of such plans, efforts, or proposed undertakings or steps that have been
undertaken b y the several agencies, boards and organizations interested.
4. That each agency, board or organization here represented, or any other agency,
board or organization .that may hereafter be concerned shall, as soon as practicable,
make available to the Departm ent of Labor such parts of its records, facilities ana
opportunities as are necessary in order that the Department may have available the
inform ation needed for using its good offices in furthering the cooperation of such agen­
cies, boards, or organizations. That such agencies, boards, or organizations detail for
service in this connection such personnel services of its staff as may be needed for
carrying out the part of any effort in which said agency, board, or organization may be
in v o lv e .
5. The Departm ent of Labor is also asked to call a second conference, at the tim e
that seems best, of representatives of the organizations that have been in vited to this
conference; also representatives of such other organizations that may be interested or
concerned for futher discussion of the questions in volved in connection with Negro
econom ics, in order that further exchange of experiences and plans of unity and co­
operation may be discussed.




TH E NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

17

The following resolution was adopted bv the conference as an addi­
tion to the report of the committee:
6.
That it is the consensus of this body that the representatives of national organi­
zations attending this conference request their local representatives in various States
to cooperate im m ediately w ith the representatives of the D irector of Negro Econom ics
of the U nited States Departm ent of Labor in all matters affecting the interests of the
Negro workers.

A program of national work was also adopted and recommended to
the Secretary covering the following matters:
1. Survey of Negro labor conditions.
2. The getting of Negro workers in to industry.
' 3. H olding Negro workers in industry, including the im proving of livin g and
working conditions in both agriculture and industry.
4. Training the next generation of workers.
5. The general advancem ent of Negro wage earners in the U nited States.

The following are some of the organizations signing, and the names
of their representatives:
Name.
Dr. Jesse E. Moorland (
Miss) Nannie BurrougJ
Miss) Mary C. Jackson..

S

ahn R . Shillady............
(V ice) W alter F . W hite.,
T . S. Settle......................
Eugene Kinckle Jones. . .
Dr. Thomas Jesse Jones..
C. H . Tobias....................
John T . Em len...............
Dr. Rodney W . Roundy.
Dr. R . R . M oton............
Rev. Harold M. Kingsley..
R ev. E. W . Moore.............
Mrs.) Etnah R . B outtee..
Miss) Estelle Haskin........

S

ohn J. Eagan....................
Dr. James H . Dillard....... .

Organization or agency represented.
International Committee, Y . M. C. A.
The National Training School.
War W ork Council, Y . W . C. A . (National Board).
^National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
War Camp Community Service.
National League on Urban Conditions among Negroes.
Phelp-StokesFund.
National War Work Council, Y . M. C. A .
Armstrong Association of Philadelphia.
American sessionary Association.
Tuskegee Institute.
Joint Committee, War Production Committees.
Baptist Home Mission Society.
Circle for Negro War R elief (In c.).
W omen’s Home Mission Council—Methodist Publishing Board.
Commission on Training Camp Activities.
Jeanes-Slater Funds.

In carrying out the plans for a publicity and educational campaign
to create a better feeling between the races and to have both white
and colored citizens understand and cooperate with the purposes and
plans o f the department, the office of the Director o f Negro Eco­
nomics received the hearty help and cooperation of the Information
and Education Service of the department during the war and until
that service was discontinued July 1,1919.
A regular newspaper release was given to both the white press and
Negro press which can not be too highly commended for their co­
operation. Special mention should be made o f the support given
by the Negro newspapers of the country, more than 250 in number,
who gave without compensation large sections o f news columns and
advertising space. As an illustration, a news release on that part of
the Secretary’s annual report relating to Negro workers was sent out
from the office of the Director of Negro Economics through the Infor­
mation and Education Service. Clippings from white newspapers
showed that the release was used by them as far north as Marne, as
far west as California, and as far south as Louisiana. Nearly all the
Ne^ro newspapers, north and south, carried the release—some of them

198#®— 21— 2




18

TH E NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

Special addresses for use at patriotic and holiday celebrations were
prepared and sent out to the Negro workers through the advisory
committees in the territories where they were organized. On the
Fourth of July, 1918, more than 2,000 copies of an address entitled
“ Labor and Victory” were used in county and city patriotic cele­
brations in more than 150 counties and about 12 States. (For copy,
see Appendix I.)
Statements were prepared for writers of special articles in news­
papers and magazines and for the Four Minute Bulletin of the Com­
mittee on Public Information. Similar material was sent to hun­
dreds o f speakers in different parts of the country. Magazine articles
dealing with the problems of Nbgro labor during the war and recon­
struction and the work of the Division of Negro Economics were pre­
pared and appeared in such magazines as The American Review of
Reviews, The Crisis, The Public, and The Survey.
The United States Public Health Service in its effort to combat
venereal diseases inaugurated a special effort to reach all Negroes.
This office cooperated with the Public Health Service by helping that
service to get m touch with Negro workers through our field organi­
zation in order that they mignt become acquainted with the facts
relative to disease as it affected health and efficiency.
The Negro workers’ advisory committees organized and held
many public meetings, attended by both white and colored citizens,
to discuss the problems of labor and the war. Speakers were sent to
hundreds of other meetings. We estimate that each month no less
than a million Negro workers and hundreds of employers were reached
and influenced in this way.




CHAPTER III.
EARLY RESULTS OF NEGRO ECONOMICS SERVICE.

A t the end of the first six months of the work, Negro workers’
advisory committees, by States, counties, and cities, had been wholly
or partly formed in 11 States, and by the time the armistice was
signed steps had been taken to estabhsh committees in three other
States.
Nearly all of these committees, both State and local, had white
and Negro members or had cooperating white members representing
organizations of white employers and white workers, in all, 11
State committees and about 225 local county and city committees,
with a membership numbering more than 1,000, were appointed. One
of the most remarkable facts is that out of the invitations and accept­
ances for service of all of these white and colored persons on these
committees, so far as we have any record, there was only one case of
a member of one committee whose relationship on the committee
caused friction and made necessary a request for his resignation.
There was the heartiest response from citizens of both races every­
where. Many of them used large amounts of time, gave their serv­
ices, and often spent their own money to further the departmental
program. It was the expressed opinion of many citizens of wellknown competence that the holding of these conferences and the
voluntary cooperation of hundreds of white and Negro citizens on
these committees, both north and south, were in themselves sufficient
to justify all the effort put forth by the department. Even more
significant were the many written statements of commendation from
citizens in all parts of the country and from organizations that
cooperated and nelped in the movement.

SELECTION AND TRAINING OF A STAFF.
The selection and training of a staff for such work ordinarily would
hardly be considered as one of the results of a departmental or organi­
zation effort. However, it should be borne in mind that there is
usually serious doubt about the expert efficiency of Negroes in offi­
cial positions which call for high standards of character and ability.
Often criticism has been specially lodged against Negroes in public
office. Therefore, the successful and effective selection and organiza­
tion of a staff of Negro officials and employees, with the necessary
general training, expert knowledge, and experience to carry out the
program of work ana to achieve the results as shown in the succeeding
pages, was in itself an achievement.
This work of mediation between white workers, white employers,
and Negro workers called for exceptional qualities of mind and charac­
ter in addition to technical knowledge and efficiency. The spirit of
conciliation and cooperation, the ability to see both sides of any issue,
and the combination of initiative and self-control necessary to act



19

20

TH E NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

effectively when action is called for and to wait with patience when
action is not strategic required persons far above the average in both
character and ability. The office of the Director of Negro Economics
may modestly claim this success as a part of the achievement of the
work, as it demonstrates that such a staff can be built up in the
public service.
The department had previously used the services of three Negro
experts from the Department of Commerce. These men were re­
tamed and their duties readjusted so that throughout the period of
the war and for nearly eight months of reconstruction they gave
effective service— Charles E. Hall as supervisor of Negro economics
for Ohio, William Jennifer as supervisor of Negro economics for
Michigan, and Harry E. Arnold as an examiner and special agent in
the united States Employment Service in Pennsylvania. As the
organization grew, the following men were added: T. C. Erwin,
supervisor of Negro economics for Virginia; Dr. A. M. Moore, super­
visor of Negro economics for North Carolina, who served as a dollar-ayear man, with R. McCants Andrews as assistant; William M. Ashby,
supervisor of Negro economics for New Jersey • O. Armwood, super­
W.
visor of Negro economics for Florida; Lemuel L. Foster, supervisor of
Negro economics for Mississippi, who succeeded J. C. Olden, resigned
for other work after doing valuable service; H. A. Hunt, supervisor
of Negro economics for Georgia; and Forrester B. Washington, super­
visor of Negro economics for Illinois. In addition, the qualifications
and recommendations of a number of Negro examiners in the United
States Employment Service, as well as stenographers and clerical
assistants, were investigated and passed upon by the office of the
Director of Negro Economics.
In the office of the Director of Negro Economics at Washington
headquarters, Karl F. Phillips, as assistant to the director, ably
managed the office and closely associated with the director in the
full supervision of the work. A competent staff of clerical employees
was aaded as the growth of the work made it necessary.
These Federal officials performed their duties with enthusiasm,
efficiency, and success under the many trying circumstances which
arose during the strenuous months of the war labor program and the
first months of reconstruction. Their services as a part of this experi­
ment in the Federal Government's relation to Negro wage earners
has been a contribution to the experience with Negroes in important
administrative positions.
The facts about each State supervisor of Negro economics follow
in sections describing the activities and results of the work in each
State.

PROBLEMS OF NEGRO LABOR.

Before entering the detailed discussion of migration and the exeriences in 11 States, a summarized statement of the problems of
fegro labor during the war and reconstruction period, extracted
from reports of the Director of Negro Economics to the Secretary of
Labor, follows:

S

L During the war period.
1. The m ovem ent of large numbera of Negro workers from the South to the
North.
2. The in evitable m aladjustm ent in livin g conditions confronting the new­
comers in the North.




THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

21

3. The delicate questions of relations of Negro workers and w hite workers in
northern industries in to w hich Negroes were for the first tim e entering in
re numbers.
4. T1
ifficulties and readjustments in southern agricultural regions, due to
the sudden departure of thousands of tenants and farm laborers, as w ell
as the readjustments in industrial operations in the South, due to the same
causes.
5. The attraction to centers of war industries and construction camps and can­
tonments, both north and south, due to the wages offered, w hich were
higher than those prevailing in post-war industry and agriculture.
6. The serious labor shortage, both north and south, w hite and colored, due to
the drafting of m illions of m en in to the Arm y.

II. Daring the reconstruction period,
1. The thousands of Negro workers in war industries who had to be shifted back
to post war industries along w ith the other workers called for special at­
tention sim ilar to the penod when they were being shifted in to war
industries.
2. Probably between 400,000 and 500,000 workers migrated from the South to
northern industries. The difficulties of cooperative adjustm ent o f w hite
wage earners and Negro wage earners in the industrial com m unities where
they must find com m unity life in contact w ith each other were increased.
3. Special problem s connected w ith the entrance of colored women in to indus­
try and special problem s in dom estic and personal service.
4. The problem s of im proving the conditions, increasing the efficien cy, and
encouraging the thrift of Negro workers were probably greater during the
war and still remain as reconstruction problem s.
5. In the South the com m on interests of w nite em ployers who want to engage
the services w hich the Negro wage earner has to offer and the desire o f the
worker for wages in return make the adjustm ent of the Negro labor situa­
tion one of the most far-reaching factors in bringing about ju st and am i­
cable race relations. The m igration and war restlessness o f the tw o races
creates problem s w hich the labor nexus may be very effective in settling.
6. The adjustm ent of farm tenantry and o f the labor situation in the South
is very largely a problem of Negro labor.
7. For the first 12 months follow ing the arm istice the problem of dem obiliza­
tion of thousands of Negro soldiers called for cooperative action, and
more tact and judgm ent than were probably needed during the period
when they were being drafted out of production in to the Arm y. The
return of the Negro soldier to civ il life , w ith the obligations o f the Nation
to him , has been one of the m ost delicate and difficu lt labor questions con­
fronting the Nation, north and south.
8. The im provem ent of livin g and working conditions, including such ques­
tions as housing, sanitation, and recreation of Negro wage earners, sh ou ld
receive more attention during this period of reconstruction ana peace
tim e than they d id before or during the Great War period.




CHAPTER IV.
COOPERATION WITH THE SEVERAL BUREAUS AND DIVISIONS
OF THE DEPARTMENT.

Where matters which manifestly or ^directly affected Negro wage
earners came under the immediate administrative guidance of the
several divisions and bureaus of the department, it was the plan of
the Secretary that the heads or chiefs of such divisions or bureaus
should call upon the Director of Negro Economics for advice.
The United States Employment Service, which was dealing with
the recruiting and placing of Negro labor in the United States,
naturally received the largest amount of such cooperation, advice, and
planning. For instance, questions came up relating to private agencies
and them handling of Negro labor on and after August 1,1918, when
the Employment Service was given the responsibility of recruiting and
placing the common labor in war industries employing 100 or more
workers. The Director of Negro Economics gathered the facts and
proposed a plan and policy for dealing with this matter. Such plan
and policy were later adopted and put into operation by the Director
General of the United States Employment Service.
The members of the Negro workers’ advisory committees in many
localities assisted as volunteers diming this war-labor recruiting and
placing. Eight of the State supervisors of Negro economics had
their offices either with the Feaeral directors oi the Employment
Service or in close connection with them. All of the Federal directors
in these States turned to these State supervisors for advice and assist­
ance on practically all matters relating to the handling of Negro
labor in their States. The question of location of offices to serve
Negro neighborhoods, the formation of policies and plans of the Em­
ployment Service to serve them more effectively, the selection of
competent Negro examiners, and a number of other questions were
from time to time presented and handled for the Employment
Service. The following excerpts from statements of some of the
Federal directors of the Employment Service show their apprecia­
tion of this service given by representatives of the Division of Negro
Economics:
U nited States E mployment Service.
74 East Gay Street, Columbus, Ohio, A pril 9, 1919.
Mr. E thelbert Stewart,
Director o f Investigation and Inspection Service,
Office o f the Secretary, Department o f Labor, Washington, D . C.
My Dear Mr . Stewart : Mr. Charles E. H all, who has been supervisor of Negro
econom ics in Ohio, handed me a copy of your letter of March 27 with reference to his
reports being made through the office of tne Federal director for Ohio.
Mr. H all baa been located in the office of the Federal director for the past several
months and we are very glad to advise that the relationship is very pleasant. We
feel that Mr. H all is a very com petent man and especially fitted for the line of work
to w hich he is assigned.
r This letter is w ritten as an acknowledgm ent of the receipt of instructions contained
in your letter of above date.
Very truly, yours,
(Signed)
C. H. Mayhugh ,
Acting Federal Director fo r Ohio.
22




THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

23

1423 N ewton Street, Washington, D . C ., July 9,1919.
D r. George E. Hay n e s ,
Director o f Negro Economics, Department o f Labor, Washington, D . C.
My D ear D r . H aynes : I very m uch regret to learn that failure of appropriation
has made it necessary to discontinue the work w hich has been carried on b y Mr.
Charles E . H all, supervisor of Negro econom ics for Ohio.
*
Mr. H all assisted the Em ploym ent Service in every possible way in recruiting labor
during the war and in the readjustm ent of labor after the signing of the arm istice.
The big task before him at this tim e is to assist in crystallizing the best thought and
carrying out the best possible plans for im proving housing conditions and aiding the
Negroes to becom e satisfactorily adjusted to the new industrial condition w hich con­
fronts them . H is work, I believe, has been a real factor in preventing the develop­
m ent of radical unrest among the Negroes in Ohio.
M y knowledge of Mr. H all’s work was gained through contact as Federal D irector
of Em ploym ent for Ohio, from w hich position I resigned March 15, 1919.
Very truly, yours,
(Signed)
F red C. Croxton.
U nited States E mployment Service,
Meridian, M iss., January 29,1919.
From : Federal director.
T o: D irector General.
Subject: Negro Econom ics D ivision.
1. In replying to letter from /Assistant D irector General, dated January 23, in ref­
erence to D ivision of Negro Econom ics.
2. In this connection the writer wishes to state that this service is providing an
office on the same floor as the office of the Federal director for the supervisor of Negro
econom ics. The present supervisor, L. L . Foster, a young Negro of energy, is con­
ferring almost daily w ith the Federal director in reference to his work.
3. The writer attended the m eeting of the Negro State advisory board in Jackson,
M onday, January 27, at w hich meeting plans were perfected for the organization of
the Negro boys between the ages of 16 and 21 in M ississippi in the B oys’ W orking
Reserve. Cooperation has been obtained from the State agriculture college, and they
have agreed to supply instructors wherever necessary to instruct these Negro boys in
a short course prepared b y the Reserve. Arrangements were made for -visiting and
organizing reserves in approxim ately tw enty industrial Negro schools in the State
for the giving of this course in connection w ith these schools in the early spring. This
Service w ill then undertake to place these students in active farm work as soon as
school is closed.
4. The Negro workers’ advisory com m ittee in the State of M ississippi is w ell or­
ganized and the work is prospering very satisfactorily.
(Signed)
H . H . W eir,
Federal Director.

D etroit, Mich, July 2, 1919.
From : Federal director.
T o: D irector General, U nited States Em ploym ent Service, W ashington, D . C.
Subject: Supervisor of Negro Econom ics for M ichigan.
1. On Thursday of last week Mr. W illiam Jennifer, who for the past nine months
has been acting as supervisor of Negro econom ics for M ichigan, advised me that he
was in receipt of com m unication from Washington directing him to report there im ­
m ediately. H e left here on Friday morning, and at the tim e of his leaving stated that
he was somewhat worried in regards to the work, w hich he had been carrying on here
in M ichigan, being continued.
2. A t the tim e Mr. Jennifer cam e to M ichigan he at once proceeded to d evelop the
State, and w ithin a short tim e after his arrival a conference was held here in D etroit,
and there was in attendance representatives from 19 different cities in M ichigan. An
organization was perfected at that tim e, and great good has com e from the results o f
that m eeting. The writer attended this conference and had an opportunity to m eet
with these representatives, who consisted of ministers, doctors, lawyers, welfare
workers, and workingmen. These people went back to their respective localities
and proceeded to enlighten the colored people of their com m unity regarding the efforts
being made by the Governm ent to assist them in caring for the interests of the Negroes
who are rapidly m oving here from the Southern States.




24

TH E NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

3. It w ould appear to the writer that there is no work of greater im portance which
the Governm ent m ight be interested in at this tim e than that or assisting the colored
people to bring about better conditions for their race.
4. Since com ing to M ichigan, Mr. Jennifer has worked hard and given to the duties
assigned to him all his tim e and efforts. H e is a splendid gentleman and his heart is
in his work. H e thoroughly understands the Negro problem . In the mind of the
writer, he is an exception to the average person, and we should very much like to see
him return to M ichigan to carry on this good work w hich he has been doing, and
desire to urge upon you the im portance of this departm ent being continued.
(Signed)
J. V . Cunningham,
Federal Director.
U nited States E mployment S ervice,
9 Franklin Street, Newark, N. J., A pril 2, 1919.
Prof. G eorge E . H aynes ,
Director o f Negro Economics, Washington, D . C.
My D ear D r . H aynes : It is my understanding that you desire an expression of
opinion as to the work of the Bureau of Negro Econom ics.
I am glad to inform you that it is our understanding that Negro advisory com m ittees
have been organized in the principal industrial centers throughout the State. Those
com m ittees hold regular m eetings at w hich Mr. Ashby (supervisor of Negro econom ics
for New Jersey) is often present and he addresses these g ro u p on matters relative to
the situation pertaining to Negro labor in the State and advises them as to how they
can make the best of their opportunities. Committees of this character have been
helpful in the offices in the matter of opportunities for colored men and women, and
also in m olding sentim ent in favor of colored workers.
The Camden (N . J .) com m ittee is doing an especially fine piece of work in the
interest of the returning colored soldiers. Mr. Ashby personally attends the meetings
of the welfare organizations wherever it is possible in the State, giving specific atten­
tion to the benefits that m ay accrue to the colored workers.
Personally, I can on ly speak in the highest terms of the work w hich he has been
enabled to accom plish for the benefit of the Negro workers of New Jersey. I feel quite
satisfied that, responsive to the energetic work w hich he has perform ed, various
colored organizations throughout the State found it advisable for their best interests
to send telegrams to the various Washington representatives asking for continuation
of the U nited States Em ploym ent Service.
V ery truly, yours,
(Signed)
J. Spitz,
Assistant Federal Director o f Employment fo r New Jersey.

Also, in Virginia and Alabama service of cooperation was given to
the Boys’ Working Reserve in assisting its representatives m those
-States to secure helpful contacts with Negro boys.
When the Women’s Bureau was established in the department, it
was natural that its scope of activities should include attention to
conditions affecting colored women workers and that this bureau
should counsel ana work closely with the office of the Director of
Negro Economics, which gave assistance not only in finding and
selecting Mrs. Helen B. Irvin as industrial agent for the work among
colored women, and in securing Mrs. Elizabeth Ross Havnes (as a
dollar-a-year employee) for the direction of the same work, but also
in making surveys of Negro women in industrial establishments and
in taking other steps for improvement of working conditions and
relations of Negro women in industry, carried out in joint cooperation
with that service. (For full summary of reports see section on
“ Negro Women in industry,” pp. 124-133.)
These experts entered upon their duties in November, 1918. They
performed important field service of a varied character, and the data
collected by them, together with their recommendations, after receiv­
ing the counsel and advice of the Director of Negro Economics,
formed the basis of concrete labor policies which the Women’s Bureau




THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

25

is now putting into effect in behalf of female Negro workers. Some
of the facts gathered are published in another section of this bulletin.
The Investigation and Inspection Service not only made a number
of investigations of plants of various kinds involved in the depart­
ment relating to Negro wage earners but this service took upon
itself the employment of a competent Negro, Byron K. Armstrong,
who was also associated with the office of the Director of Negro
Economics. The field investigations for the data in Chapters V III
and X , which deal with Negroes in the seven basic industries in
northern centers were made by him and other representatives of
that service in an effort to ascertain the conditions and relations ob­
taining between Negro workmen who had entered northern industries
and white workers.
Special mention should be made of the cooperation received from
the Council of National Defense in starting and developing a program
for Negro workers in the South. The national office of the council,
at Washington, D. C., which dealt with the State councils, gave our
plans indorsement, together with full information and advice, and
furnished letters of introduction. The officials of State councils in
Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Kentucky extensively
promoted the cooperative plan of organization. In Virginia, Ken­
tucky, and Florida the executive secretary of the State Council of
National Defense arranged for an appointment of white cooperating
members of the Negro Workers' Advisory Committees. The Georgia
council gave its advice to our State committee, the governor of
Georgia, Hon. Hugh M. Dorsey, as chairman of the council, having
issued the invitation for the State conference. The Alabama Councu
of National Defense appointed a Negro auxiliary to assist with the
work. The Kentucky Council of National Defense was the main
organization in promoting the formation of Negro Workers' Advisory
Committees in its State.
The cooperation of private organizations and agencies, both local
and national, was so hearty and widespread that it is practically
impossible to name a list of the organizations that gave such coopera­
tive service.




CHAPTER V.
NEGRO LABOR AND RACIAL RELATIONSHIPS AT CHICAGO.
[Extract from report of the Director of Negro Economics to the Secretary of Labor, through the Assist­
ant Secretary on the subject of Negro labor situation in Chicago, 111., and other localities, following
race disturbances at Chicago.]

A u g u s t 27, 1919.
Reports having been received at the office of the Secretary about
disturbance at tHe stockyards in Chicago and other places of employ­
ment where Negroes have ordinarily been engaged, following the race
riots in that city, after departmental conference, I was instructed
by the Assistant Secretary to proceed to Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit,
Cleveland, and near-by points m the territory to ascertain, first hand,
the change, if any, in the labor situation. This report covers the
results of a rapid survey of Chicago, of inquiries during a day at St.
Louis, Mo., during brief visits to Detroit and Flint, Mich., and some
statements secured on a stop-qver in Cleveland on the return trip.
I have also included the substahce of reports from reliable Negroes,
residents of several other cities.
THE CHICAGO SITUATION.

The disturbance in Chicago seems to have grown out of complex
fundamental conditions, mainly economic. Some of the factors are
not altogether labor factors but are largely the results of the labor
and other economic conditions. From the testimony secured from
localities other than Chicago, I am convinced, also, that the Chicago
situation is partly typical, so far as the underlying factors in labor
and other economic conditions are concerned.
Therefore, in giving full attention to it, we view conditions that are
typical of many industrial centers. The demand for labor during
the past five years drew large numbers of Negroes from the South.
They have become almost putty in the hands of three more or less
conflicting interests: (a) The employers, (6) white workmen, very
largely organized, and (c) politicians.
1.
Taking, first, the labor situation: In the early years of the stockyards development the labor supply was mainly American, German,
and Irish that lived near the stockyards. When the stockyards were
moved to their present location— at that time far removed from the
residential and business districts of the city— Irish and German ele­
ments settled around the yards. With the coming of the Poles and
other nationalities, following the great strike of 1904, the Irish were
pushed across Halstead Street ana beyond Thirty-ninth Street. The
German element occupies neighborhoods on the other side of the yards
and out toward Englewood.
With the growth of employment of Negroes in the stockyards, there
has been continuous effort on the part o f white workers to draw them
into their unions. This has been only partially successful. Some
dissatisfaction has resulted, and the union workers charged that the
26




TH E NEGRO AT WORK DURING TH E WORLD WAR.

27

packers have used Negro leaders to prevent unionizing Negroes. The
packers have denied any interference with the effort to unionize
Negroes. It can not be told how much friction and feeling between
the races this has caused. Testimony goes to show, however, that
there has developed some friction between Negro workers and the
Irish element at the yards. This did not seem to have any connec­
tion with the union situation but with individual contacts.
Whether this friction had any direct connection with the rioting
is not fully established. AU the testimony, however, shows that the
point of greatest friction was where the Negro neighborhood touched
the Irish neighborhood on the South Side. There was considerable
mention in the testimony of an Irish athletic association, known as
Regan’s Colts. This was started as a sort of political and athletic
association, but. now has a reputation for considerable rowdyism.
2. The housing situation is another economic element. Many of
those familiar with the conditions preceding the riots claim, however,
that there is little relation between the Feeling aroused about the
housing and the riots. However that may be, it is certain that a
large influx of Negroes (about doubling the Negro population of Chicago
within five years) has created an acute housing situation on the South
Side. This population has flowed out of the area previously occupied
by Negroes and on into the areas occupied by whites, pressing upon
the districts known as Englewood ana Kenwood. The white resi­
dents have organized an association of residents. Reliable testi­
mony, gained confidentially from some of their meetings, establishes
the fact that there was considerable agitation, even suggestions of
violence, to keep Negroes from renting and buying in the white dis­
trict. Popular gossip connects the bombing of Negro residences with
this agitation.
3. The political situation is a third factor of importance. These
underlying forces of the attraction during the last five years of
large numbers of Negro workers of the unskilled type, the friction
over the housing congestion and the tension over political affairs were
continually played upon and inflamed by agitation.
Some agitation arose from the persons highly active and prejudiced
against Negroes. There were various clashes of individuals here and
there. There were repeated attempts to frighten Negroes from resi­
dences by bombing their houses. There was quite a bit of newspaper
publicity during the period of months preceding the riots.
All these incidents prepared the way for the underlying labor,
housing, and political fires of friction to burst into the flames of riot
and death. The occasion for the outbreak on Sunday, July 27, when
white bathers stoned a Negro youth, knocking him "from a raft and
causing him to drown, was only the match which lighted the blaze.
4. The situation which developed at the stockyards, resulting in a
walkout of many of the union employees, was only indirectly the
result of the race riot. Some of the leaders of the Amalgamated
Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen of North America say that no
strike was authorized, but that it is a code of the unions not to work
in any place where police and military guards are over them.
Apparently the employers at the stockyards, fearing trouble when
the Negroes returned to work on the Thursday following the riots,
took the precaution of having extra police guards ana details oi
militia. The union workmen interpreted the presence of these guards­




28

TH E NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

men as a move against them. Immediately many of the union work­
ers, among them some of the Negro union men, protested by leaving
their work and by sending a committee of protest to public officials.
Colored union men were on this committee. By Monday of the
following week, however, the militia had been removed and the
resentment of the union men apparently quieted down.
Both .the employees and the management of the stockyards testi­
fied that there was no friction within the yards when the men re­
turned to work. Many evidences of good feeling and cooperation
between white and colored workers were manifested. The occasion
was one, of course, when both the leaders of the unions and repre­
sentatives of the packers were disclaiming any responsibility for the
situation.
With this underlying condition confronting the community there
was very limited contact between the more thoughtful and liberalminded, social-minded citizens of the two races. Barring the few
leaders of the labor unions and a few representatives of philanthropic
organizations there were few contacts through which there might be
mutual understanding between the races. The facts also seem to
show that the large number of Negro unskilled workers directly from
the South, both m their competition for work and in their needs
for decent houses in good surroundings, were being used and ex­
ploited. The forces to help them, ana thus to benefit the commu­
nity, were few and comparatively weak.
It was also clear that the full sentiment of the employers, the
largest of whom are the packers, favors the retention of the Negroes
in Chicago. On the other hand, the white union workers fear this
competition of Negro workers unless they can induce them to enter
the unions.
During the course of the riot the Association of Commerce called a
conference of the representatives of 47 business and philanthropic
organizations of the city at the Union League Club. The outcome
of this meeting was a resolution requesting the governor to appoint
a committee “ to study the psychological, sociological, and econom­
ical causes underlying conditions resulting in the present race riot
and to make such recommendation as wifi tend to prevent a recur­
rence of such conditions in the future.”
Gov. Lowden told me he had decided to appoint a local com­
mission for Chicago only. This will be composed of six white and six
colored citizens of the nighest standing * * *.
5.
From the nation-wide point of view another factor enters to
make the Chicago situation complicated and of importance. It is
of special concern to this department in its relation to the whole
matter of migration of Negro workers and the adjustment of their
relations to white workers and white employers both north and south.
Immediately following the riots Chicago newspapers began to pub­
lish dispatches, letters, and news items from southern territory invit­
ing southern Negroes to return to the South for good treatment*
pneace, and employment.
During the week of my visit representatives of three different plant­
ing interests of Mississippi were m the city, and it was reported that
a delegation was on its way to Chicago from the Chamber of Com­
merce in New Orleans with a colored man in the party to “ pick the
right type of Negroes.” * * *



THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING TH E WORLD WAR.

29

It is uncertain just how far such an effort to induce Negroes to
return to the South will be successful, but the effort has already
aroused considerable opposition and discussion against it among Ne­
groes, both in their newspapers and other channels. Of course
immediately the ministers and newspapers are being accused of being
paid by the packers, who want to hold the Negroes in Chicago.
While there are no available facts to support such allegations, it is
true that the employers of Chicago generally, according to testimony
of the chairman of the Association of Commerce and other employers
in touch with the situation, do not look with favor upon efforts made
to take Negroes out of Chicago. * * *
The week of my visit, of course, was too soon to tell exactly how
far the attitude of employers about employing Negroes haa been
affected by race riots. The examination of calls for Negro labor at
two employment offices showed, however, that beginning with August
5, just after the close of the riots, there had been a gradual increase
both in the number of calls for Negro help wanted, those referred, and
those placed. Information could be secured for a few cases only
where Negroes had been dropped during the days of the riots ana
had not been replaced when the situation quieted down. The facts
so far obtainable indicate that in those employments where Negroes
were used formerly there would probably not be any material change
in the use of Negro workers.
Before summarizing the impressions gained in St. Louis, Mo.,
Detroit^ Mich., and Cleveland, Ohio, it may be well to point out two
other significant factors influencing the racial situation in Chicago
as well as in other parts of the country. In the first place, there was a
very widespread dissatisfaction, bordering on bitterness, among many
Negroes, due to the reports they have received from the returning
soldiers about their harsh treatment in the Army, both at home and
in France. In many conversations and in public gatherings of
Negroes some of these stories are rehearsed and commented upon.
* * *
In the second place, there is a general feeling among all classes of
Negroes that the Federal Government should do something to remedy
they condition. This takes two forms: First, the abolition of evils.
There is a very widespread and strong feeling that mobs and lynch­
ing and other abuses now affecting Negroes should be taken in hand
by the Federal Government. Second, Negroes are looking to the
Federal Government to take some constructive steps for their benefit.
The great popularity of the action of the Department of Labor
through the Division of Negro Economics for giving attention to
working conditions of Negroes and their relation to white workers
and white employers is largely due to this feeling of the Negroes that
something should be done for them through the Federal Government.
The Pubfic Health Service of the Treasury Department is meeting
with similar response. * * *
There is a frequent comment among Negroes on this point and
questions are asked repeatedly why something in a large way is
not done at this time. Larger efforts by Federal departments to
improve living and working conditions among Negroes will receive
hearty response from them.



30

TH E NEGRO AT WORK DURING TH E WORLD WAR.

•TESTIMONY AND OPINIONS FROM ST. LOUIS, MO., DETROIT AND FLINT,
MICH., CLEVELAND, OHIO, AND OTHER POINTS.

In St. Louis a committee of colored citizens went to the chief of
police during the days of the Washington-Chicago riots. They
pledged him their support and made certain suggestions. He and
the mayor immediately took steps to forestall any possible outbreaks.
This, 1 was informed, led to special instructions to the patrolmen.
Some newspaper publicity of a helpful kind was also obtained.
Although several individual clashes were reported, the sentiment
seems to be for quiet. It was reported, however, to me on good testi­
mony that large numbers of Negroes have firearms and ammunition
preparatory to protecting themselves and their homes in case of
disturbances.
Detroit, Mich., has had a very large influx again during the past
summer, the estimate being about 3,000 newcomers during the
month of June alone. These newcomers comprise men, women,
and children. While there is considerable congestion in one dis­
trict there has, however, been considerable distribution of this
Negro population in other sections of the city.
The race friction here has seemed to be small, probably due to the
fact that the demand for labor is greater than the supply. Every­
body is employed at high wages and so busy that there is hardly
time for the frictions that go with unemployment. In some of the
industrial plants employing large numbers of Negroes, the superin­
tendents did take precaution during the days when the newspapers
were reporting the riots in Washington and Chicago to prevent any
possible friction between white ana colored workers in their plants.
For instance, one of the automobile accessories companies separated
the white and colored workers in the lunch rooms as a precaution.
The testimony indicates that this tended to cause friction rather than
to prevent it, as it is reported that the colored workmen refused to
share the lunch room with this new arrangement.
It was reported here also that Negroes have provided themselves
with considerable firearms and ammunition lest trouble arise. One
factor in the situation in Detroit making for harmony is the fact that
the largest Negro neighborhood is bordered on one side by Jews,
largely JRussian, and on the other side b y Italians. Cases of friction
resulted only in individual clashes that had no group significance.
During the days of the Washington-Chicago riots leading colored
citizens conferred with the mayor and other officials about precau­
tionary steps to prevent any possible outbreak.
In Cleveland, Ohio, there was some fear during the days of the riots
elsewhere lest there might be some friction. An editorial in one of
the colored newspapers, warning Negroes to arm themselves, drew
forth an article from one of the white newspapers claiming that the
chief of police had called this editor to task, threatening to arrest him
for murder if any riot occurred and any one was killed. This was
denied by the chief of police and the incident closed.
The colored editor, however, did receive some threatening letters
and there was a report of an attack upon a Negro soldier by some
white men in a high-powered automobile which ran into a Negro
neighborhood. Both of these incidents caused some excitement
among some of the colored people. There was, however, a feeling




THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

31

among some of the influential white and colored citizens that no race
disturbance should take place in Cleveland.
Responsible citizens 1 interviewed, said however, that the city
would welcome any cooperative effort to study the labor and other
economic conditions looking toward measures that would prevent
racial friction in the future.
From testimony of conditions which nearly resulted in riots in
Sumter, S. C., Columbia, S. C., Birmingham, Ala., and from appre­
hension expressed and testimony as to preparations made by white
and colored people in New York City, Jacksonville, Fla., and Mont­
gomery, Ala., I am led to believe that the racial tension is so wide­
spread as to be in fact a matter of national concern, calling for some
attention from the National Government.
Respectfully submitted.
(Signed)
G e o r g e E. H a y n e s ,
Director o f Negro Economics.




CHAPTER V I.
WHITE AND NEGRO WORKERS IN BASIC INDUSTRIES.
The distribution of Negro workers in industries both as to States
and the types of industries in which they were engaged in comparison
with other workers in industries in the same States gives a good
impression o f their general part in war production and of the wide­
spread contact of the racial labor relations. The facts are set forth
in the tables of this chapter.
The first table (Table I) gives a general view of the white and Negro
men engaged in industrial unskilled occupations in establishments
in 1918 or at the height of our drive for war production. These fig­
ures were reported from the responsible employers themselves to the
United States Employment Service when tnat service by Executive
order took over the work of recruiting and placement of unskilled
labor in all industries employing 100 or more men.
The data about establishments selected for this table were taken
at random from the records of the hundreds that reported. The
basis of selection was those employing 25 or more Negro workers.
As many States as practicable were represented, so as to show the
wide distribution of employment of Negroes, but those included are
only a small part of the total number reporting. The estimate of
the percentage of war work each establishment was doing, the num­
ber of hours per xlay, and the rate of wages are exactly as reported
by each firm itself.
Unfortunately for the present purpose the reports did not show
occupational distribution of these employees. The column showing
the kind of industrial operation carried on by the firm could be
classified only in the very general way here given, because of the
brevity of description given in the reports. The classifications,
however, give some general notion of the type of each plant or enter­
prise which was employing these men. A number of firms were
omitted because the descriptions would not allow of even this general
classification.
Table I, which follows below, shows enterprises in 26 States and
the District of Columbia, which were, in 1918, employing 129,708
white men and 62,340 Negro men. Twelve Southern States and 14
Northern States are listed. - If Ohio and Pennsylvania seem to have
an undue number of films listed in comparison with other States,
especially in the South, it may be attributed to the large entrance of
Negro migrants into their many industries, to the comparatively lim­
ited industrial development in the South, which is largely agricul­
tural, and to the necessary exclusion of many firms in other States
either because of their employment of less than 25 Negroes or because
of insufficient information in their reports.
The percentage of war work upon which these enterprises were
engaged shows tne large part these men had in winning the war. Out
of a total of 292 firms which gave information on this point only 23

32




TH E NEGRO AT W ORK DURING THE WORLD W AR.

33

reported less than 50 per cent war work and only 11 of these reported
25 per cent or less war work; 99 firms reported from 50 to 99 per
cent war work and 151 firms reported 100 per cent war work. There
might have been some bias in some cases, inasmuch as those firms
having the greatest percentage of war work might have expected
some priority in securing laborers.
The wage rates are also very interesting and indicate some con­
trasts for the same kind of industry in the different sections of the
United States. For instance, unskilled workers in foundries were
employed at the rate of $2.50 per 10-hour day in Alabama; from
$3.50 per 10-hour day (one firm) to $4.25 per 9-hour day (one firm)
in Illinois; $3.20 per 10-hour day (one plant, calculated from straight
hourly rate) in Indiana; $2.50 per 10-hour day in Tennessee (only
one firm) and $3.50 *to $4 per 10-hour day (calculated from straight
hourly rate) in Virginia.
Unskilled workers in iron and steel plants were employed at the
rate of $2.50 to $3 per 10-hour day (one firm 9 to 12 hours with wages
$2.25 to $3.79 per day, one firm 10 to 12 hours) in Alabama; from
$3 to $4 per 10-hour day (calculated from straight hourly rate) in
Illinois; from $2.75 to $3.60 (8, 9, 10, and 12 hour day differently in
four plants) per day in Indiana; $3 per 10-hour day in Kentucky;
from $2.88 to $4.95 per 9-hour day (calculated from straight hourly
rate) in New Y ork; from $3.40 to $4 per 10-hour day (calculated on
straight hourly rate) in Ohio; from $3.20 to $6 (one plant reported
60 cents per hour) per 10-hour day (calculated from straight hourly
rate) in Pennsylvania; from $2.40 to $3.20 per 8-hour day (calcu­
lated from the straight hourly rate) and $2.50 to $3 (one plant) per
10-hoiu* day in Tennessee; and $2.75 per 12-hour day (one plant) in
Virginia. It should be borne in mind constantly that during the
stress of war production probably most plants ran longer than the
regular hours and many of their employees worked overtime, the
usual rule being to pay time and a half for overtime, and in some
cases double time. 'Therefore no calculation of the actual average
earnings of the workmen can be made from these rates of pay.
The full text of Table I with details by States follows, showing un­
skilled white and Negro male workers in selected typical war indus­
tries by States in 1918:
1989°—21-----3




34

TH E NEGRO AT W ORK DURING TH E WORLD WAR.

T a b l e I .— Unskilled white and Negro male workers in selected typical war industries

employing 25 or more Negroes, with reported percentage o f war work o f each enterprise,
hours, and wage rate, by States, 1918.
ALABAM A.
Number of un­
skilled workers.
Kind of industry of individual
enterprise.
W hite.

1

3

2

A m m unition...
Army ordnance
Cement............
Chemicals.........
Coal and iron ...
Fertilizer..........
Foundry.........
D o............
D o............
D o............
Iron and steel.
D o............
D o............
D o............
D o............
Lumber..........
Saw m ill.........
D o............
Shipbuilding..

46
45
102
41
14
3
50
22
0)

26

0)

25
6
16
350
100 *
5
16
150
5
750
9
20
73
1

j o ..

D o ....
Steel w ire.
R ailroad..
D o—
Radiators.

Percent­
Rate of wages.
age of
war work Number
of hours
in which
in
workers working
were
Negro. engaged
Per hour. Per day.
day.
at plant.
4

58
200
88
122
84
25
75
178
110
317
25
75
136
171
600
100
60
37
100
189
500
211
300
1,420
25

5

100
95
100
100
100
100
25
93
95
75
100
100
100
98
90
30
100
100
75

10
10
12
9
10
10
10
10
9
10
10
10
10
9-12
10-12
10
10
10
8
8
8
10
10
10
9

100
100
90
100

10
10
HI
( u

100
100
100
100
100
90

g
10
10
10
9

5
100
100
100
100
0)

6

7

$0.30
.31
0.30-.33

.25

$2.50-3.50
2.50-3.00
2.50-3.00
2.50
2.50
2.50
3.00
3.00
2.50-2.75
2.25-3.25
2.25-3.79
2.25-2.50
2.00-2.50
2.50

.30-. 40
.40
.30-. 40
.30
.34
.34
.35

CONNECTICUT.
Ammunition.............................................
Tri?n_____________ '..................... .
M etal............................................. ..........
Shells.........................................................

200
400
1,800
219

50
100
45
59

$0.40
.33
'
.40

$3.50-3.90

DELAW ARE.
Powder.....................................................
D o.......................................................
Pyrites.......................................................
Shells.........................................................
Steel castings......................................... .
War supplies....................................

45
60
29
120
28
89

30
44
67
80
27
95

n

$0.40
.40
.40
.40
0.37-. 40
.36

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.
Electric equipm ent..
Paper.........................

30
30

51
52

100
50

10

100
100
100
90
80

10
10
10
11
10

8

$0.40 .
.35 .

F LO R ID A
Lum ber.....................................................
D o ......................................................
D o.......................................................
D o.......................................................
Naval stores..............................................




232
50
20
150
11

217
225
465
350
324

1No figures available.

$0.25

$2.00
1.80-2.25
2.00-2.50
2.40

35

TH E NEGRO AT WORK DURING TH E WORLD WAR,

T a b l e I .— Unskilled white and Negro male workers in selected typical war industries

employing 25 or more Negroes, with reported percentage o f war work o f each enterprise,
hours, and wage rate, by States, 1918— Continued.
GEORGIA.
Number of un­
skilled workers.
Kind of industry of individual
enterprise.
W hite.

1
C otton.......................................................
Tran................................................... ........
Lumber.....................................................
Turpentine................................................

2

Percent­
Rate of wages.
Number
age of
war work of hours
in
in which
workers working
were
day.
Per hour. Per day.
Negro. engaged
at plant.
4

3

134
(i)
' 75
0)

160
147
225
300

5

6

7

12
80
100
80

10
10.30
. 10
10
8 0.25^.35

90
80
70
35
' 95
77
40
75
21
80
80
100
100
25
75
100 i

8
10
10.40
10
.36
9
.35
10
9
10
.40
10
8
.40
8
.40
10 0.35-. 40
10
10 .30i.38
8
.40
8
.40
8

$2.00
2.00

ILLIN OIS.
Aluminum................................................
Canning.....................................................
Castings....................................................
Cork..........................................................
Foundry....................................................
D o.......................................................
Iron...........................................................
Lumber.....................................................
Meat..........................................................
Meat packing............................................
Paint.........................................................
Shells........................................................
Steel.........................................................
Stockyards......................................... ......
Zinc...........................................................

1.000
2,921
1,450
1,658
300
268
350
175
4,110
3,714
1,300
836
250
1,151
3,250
350

500
410
225
281
75
162
150
126
3,244
2,375
50
417
250
604
1,087
50

$3.10*

3.50
3.50-4.25
2.25-2.75

3.50

3.00-3.90

IN DIAN A.
Foundry................................................ i .
Gas............................................................
Iron............................................................
D o.......................................................
D o.......................................................
Iron and steel............................................
P icric acid .................................................
Plates........................................................
S teel..'.......................................................

75
470
0)
81
30
154
50
1.350
550

150
156
34
112
120
98
50
500
50

70
100
90
95
100
75
100
100
0)

101
25
101

47
30
85

10
8
10
9
12
8
10
10
10

$0.32
.35
$2.75-3.00

.35

* 3.60
.30
.40
.42
.33

IO W A.
B u ild in g ......................... ........................
Foodstuffs.................................................
Meat...........................................................

152
800
860

------- 1----9
8 $0.37-. 42
8
.40

$4.05

KANSAS.
Meat packing............................................
D o........................................................
Mltijng.......................................................




375
2,062
125

75
746
25

No figures available.

90
40
50

8
10
0)

$0.37 *
.......... •___
.40 !...................
.41 1
...................
i

36

TH E NEGRO AT W ORK DURING TH E WORLD WAR,

T a b l e I .— Unskilled white and Negro made workers in selected typical war industries

employing 25 or more Negroes, with reported percentage o f war work o f each enterprise,
hours, aria wage rate, by States, 1918—Continued.
KEN TU CK Y.
Number of un­
skilled workers.
Kind of industry of individual
enterprise.
W hite.

2

1

3
137
438
140
994
10
10
27

B oilers.......................................................
Boxes.........................................................
Iron..... ........... ...........................................
D o........................................................
Leather......................................................
Lumber*....................................................
Signal corps...............................................

Percent­
Rate of wages.
age of Number
war work of hours
in which
in
workers working
day.
were
Negro. engaged
Per hour. Per day.
at plant.
5

4
55
75
153
225
50
73
56

6
10
10

$

100
40
100
0)
100

7

10.27-. 40

n

10

.30
.30

$1.75
3.00
2.50

#

LOUISIANA.
Lumber......................................................
D o....................................................
S hipbuilding............................................

45
1,000
50
90

100
100
100
100

10
10
9
10

100
100

8
8

100
100
100

9
9
9

(i)
1 100
100

10
10
10

$1.50-2.50
L75
2.75-3.25

0)

*8
8

sa.20

175
2,000
150
304

'

$2.75-3.00
2.00-2.50

$6.30
.30-. 40

M ARYLAN D.
Ammunition.............................................
Copper......................................................

703
2,300

600
200

$3.00
3.20

M ASSACHU8ETT8.
1
i
Electrical w ork........................................
Steel castings............................................
Sugar........................... ..............................

1,200
150
410

50
50
90

$0.28-. 30
.37*
.37

MISSISSIPPI.
Sawmill............................ ........................
D o........................................................
W ood products..........................................

1
38
100

125
310
900

N EBRASKA.
M eat..
Metal.

140
400

45
100

100

NEW JERSEY.
RhftlTs..........................................................
T ubes.........................................................
Shrapnel loading.......................................




244
50
350

200
40
325

J figures available.
No

100
100
100

8
(*)

9

$0135
.22-. 40
.40

THE

37

N E G R O A T W O R K D U R IN G T H E W O R L D W A R .

T able I .— Unskilled white and Negro male workers in selected typical war industries
employing 25 or more Negroes, with reported percentage o f war work o f each enterprise,
hours, and wage rate, by States, 1918— Continued.
NEW Y O R K .
Number of un­
skilled workers.
Kind of industry of individual
enterprise.
W hite.

1
Aluminum.................. .............................
D o.......................................................
Chemicals..................................................
Elevators..................................................
Glass..........................................................
Machinery.................................................
Valves.......................................................
Steel...........................................................
D o.......................................................
Sugar.........................................................

Percent­
Rate of wages.
age of
Number
war work of hours
in which
in
workers working
were
day.
Per hour. Per day.
Negro. engaged
at plant.

2

4

3

750
2,700
1,000
470
500
851
146
550
395
600

5

.

100
100
100
90
100
100
98
100
80
100

8-10
8
* 9
8
10
10
9
9
9
10

792
65
200
280
300
50
180

100
48
80
0)
80
100
100

8
10
11
10
10
10
10

220
300
50
30
46
82
142
50
55
175
150
100
525
117
25
62
26
400

90
15
40
70
95
100
100
100
100
85
85
98
100
40
40
100
75
90

50
400
75
30
40
98
32
50
98
57

6

6

S0.34-.40
13.50
3.25

.35
.35
.36
.32-. 55
.37-. 40
.35-. 38

NORTH CAROLIN A.
Aluminum................................................
Cotton tow els............................................
Lumber.....................................................
D o.............................. .........................
D o............ ! .........................................
Shipbuilding.............................................
Sewerage....................................................

704
14
15
20
25
200
0)

$2.50

10.15

2.00-2.75
1.00-2.50
2.25-3.00

46

2.75

OHIO.
Aluminum...............................................
Autom obiles.............................................
Bottles.......................................................
Bronze.......................................................
Castings.....................................................
Chain....................................................... .
D o.......................................................
Chemicals..................................................
Fertilizer...................................................
Foundry....................................................
D o.......................................................
Fuses.........................................................
Guns..........................................................
Heaters...................... ...............................
Ink.............................................................
Rolling m ill...............................................
Shells.........................................................
Steel............................................r.............

125
4.500
350
30
80
103
143
3
55
425
225
200
580
24
240
58
27
1,300

9
9
8-10
8- 9
9-12
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
11
10
8!
10
10
10

SO 38
.
035-. 37$
$2.75-3.50

.40-. 45

3.25-3.75

.30

3.00

.35

3.50-3.85
3.75
.40
.35
.32$
.35-. 45
3.50-3.85
.34
.37$
.38-. 40

OKLAHOM A.
M eatpacking.
P etroleum ...




843
77

376
35

i No figures available.

80
100

8
9

SO 37
.

.

38

TH E NEGRO AT W ORK DURING TH E WORLD WAR.

T a b l e I .— Unskilled white and Negro male workers in selected typical war industries

em ploying 25 or more Negroes, with reported percentage o f war work o f each enterprise t
hour8, and wage ratey by States, 1918— Continued.
PEN NSYLVAN IA.
Percent­
Rate of wages.
age of
war work Number
in which of hours
in
workers
working
were
Negro. engaged
day.
Per hour. Per day.
at plant.

Number of un­
skilled workers.
Kind of industry of individual
enterprise.
W hite.

2

1
A cids.........................................................
A am Anginas ..............................................
A ir brakes.................................................
Aluminum
Ammnriitirm.............................................
Boilers.......................................................
B olts..........................................................
D o.......................................................
D o.......................................................
Boxes.........................................................
Bricks........................................................
D o......................................................
RrmiKA
..........................................
Building............................................- ___
Cars_ 7....................................................
_
fiftgtfngs......................... ..........................
D o .................
...........................
D o.......................................................
D o.......................................................
D o.......................................................
Cement......................................................
Chemicals..................................................
D o.......................................................
D o................................ .......................
Coal........................................................
Coal tar
.............
D o ......................................................
C onstruction...........................................
Cork.........................
........................
D redges...'.................................................
E lectric supplies.......................................
E lectric w ork.............. .............................
Engines.....................................................
Explosives.................................................
Fertilizer......., ...........................................
Gasoline....................................................
Gas engines...............................................
Glass........ .................................................
D o .....................................................
Gypsum ............................................... .
Houses.................. ...................................
Iron............................................................
D o.......................................................
D o........................... ...........................
D o.......................................................
D o.......................................................
D o.......................................................
Iron and steel..................................*.......
Iron bars...................................................
D o ......................................................
T/mthwr......................................................
Do .
.
.............................
D o.............................................* .......
Lim e..........................................................
Lumber.....................................................
Machines...................................................
I D o.......................................................
M etal.........................................................
Molding.....................................................
Munitions....
..............
Nuts...........................................................
Oils............................................................
Optical glass.............................................
1 No figures available.




3

100
346
722
1,300
1,500
26
1,071
80
350
485
262
50
195
50
14
475
15
70
200
250
307
430
•60
119
150
113
150
240
10
120
175
503
150
100
1,701
235
1,413
910
250
589
3

50
90
93
100
425
600
729
2,200
75
190
21
74
53
180

40
65
55

120
62

468
2,600
80
6,000

* Plus banns.

50

45
110
67
100
300
33
120
30
100
35
29
60
35
20
86
25
75
45
100
80
120
40
40
95
100
159
75
33
50
27
25
152
57
25
175
109
359
29
50
280
68
200
30
92
25
25
150
258
1,808
35
55
54
36
106
60
90
75
30
70
40
32
1,900
40
250
85

4
100
95
95
90
100
100
100
95
(l)
94
65
100
100
95
70
100
95
100
100
99
98
95
100
100
100
100
80
(»)
10
100
95
71
50
75
100
0)
100
97
50
10
70
100
100
90
100
100
70
90
100
80
68
100
60
90

100

85

100
90

85

100
92
90
79

100
75

6

5
9
9}
9-10
10
10
14
10
10
10}
10
10
10-12
10
11-15
10
9f
9
10
9-10
10
10
10
9}
10-12
10
10
9-10
10
10
10
9
9}
8
10
9
10
9
8
10
10
12
10
10
11
10
10
10
8-10
*24
9
9

10
10
10
(1> ,
ioi
10}
10
12
9}

10}
10
8

6

10.40
.42
.42
.34-. 41
.37}
.38
.37}

$4.07

3.50
.34}
.35-. 45
.32}
.40
.34-. 39
.38-. 45

3.00
3.15-5.52

3.15
3.50-3.60
.38-. 41
.38-. 45
3.80-6.00
.40
. 41-. 46
.32
.40
.35

3.89-4.81
3.80
4.00
3.00-3.50
3.50-4.20
3.60

.32
.40
.38
.40

.41
.38
.40

3 30-3.85
3.50
2.96
4 00-4 50
4.40

.3 7 }

.35
.38
.32
.35-. 45

.35-. 45
.28-. 30
.35
.35
* .29
.35
.28
.39
.28-. 35
.40-. 45

* Probably more than one shift.

3.84
2.88
<16.20

4.20

2.80-3.60
« Week.

THE

NEGRO A T W O R K

D U R IN G T H E

39

W O RLD W AR,

T a b l e I . — Unskilled white and Negro male workers in selected typical war industries

employing 25 or more Negroes, with reported percentage o f war work o f each enterprise,
hours, and wage rate, by States, I9IS—Continued.
PEN NSYLVAN IA—Continued.
Percent­
Rate of wages.
age of
war work Number
in which of hours
in
workers
working
were
day.
Per hour Per day.
Negro. engaged
at plant.

Number of un­
skilled workers..
Kind of industry of individual
enterprise.
White.

1
Ordnance..................................................
Pig iron.....................................................
~ D o.......................................................
Do.......................................................
D o.......................................................
Pipe fittings..............................................
Plate glass'^...............................................
Powder......................................................
Railroad cars.............................................
Plate tin ....................................................
Refrigerators.............................................
Rifles......................................................
Rivets and nails.......................................
Shells.........................................................
D o...................................... ................
D o.......................................................
Sheet copper.............................................
Shipbuilding.............................................
Soap..........................................................
Steel...........................................................
Do.......................................................
Do.....................................•.................
Do.......................................................
Do.......................................................
Do.......................................................
Do......................................................
Do.......................................................
D o.......................................................
Do.......................................................
Do.......................................................
D o.......................................................
Do.......................................................
Do.......................................................
Do.......................................................
Do.......................................................
Steel castings.............................................
Do......................................................
Steel goods.................................................
Steel hooks................................................
Steel plates................................................
D o......................................................
Sugar.........................................................
Tires...........................................................
Tools..........................................................
Warehouses...............................................
W ire...........................................................

2

4

3

3,000
29
85
300
1,000
200
150
1,008
84
349
497
500
107
50
200
950
150
319
171
7
35
35
50
76
100
130
150
331
340
470
500
940
701
1,242
3,000
8
70
350
600
257
7,750
710
725
500
400
650

1,000
25
40
200
600
30
30
65
86
61
56
1,500
58
50
90
40
60
78
81
26
30
30
50
114
30
75
50
32
40
425
150
77
344
543
400
32
45
31
165
296
850
220
20
25
325
25

6

5

100
100
100
100
60
95
33$
100
100
100
100
100
95
100
100
97
100
100
0)
100
100
100
100
100
95
100
100
85
80
100
98
100
100
90
100
100
100
75
100
100
87
100
100
100
100
75

6

10-12 S0.33-.50
10-11
10
! 10-12
.38
! 10-12
i
10
.33
| 10-11
.38-. 45
8
.37$
10
. .38
1H
.30-. 32
10‘
10 .35-.371
.35“
10$
.42
10
.37$
10
.35
10
9
10
8
12
.30
10
10
.60
10
.40
8
10
.35-. 48
10
ID
10$
.38
.38
10
104
.40
12
.38
12
10
.38
9
10
.38
.34-. 40
9*
10$
.38
11$
.38
10
10
.35
S-10
10
11$
.35
8
10
.38

S3.97-4.20
4.55
3.15

i

3.25

3.45
3.50
2.80
3.45-3.90
4.50
4.00
4.40

4.14
3.45
3.15
3.20-3.84
3.28-3.80
3.50
4.37

RHODE ISLAND.
Linters.

92

196

100

8

$0.32

3
45
100

10
10
10

I0.25-.30

.

SOUTH CAROLINA.
Lumber.....................................................
Do
..................................................
Do
........................................




55
10
29

190
125
218

i No figures available.

$2.00-2.50

40
T

TH E NEGRO AT WORK DURING TH E WORLD WAR,

I. — Unskilled white and Negro male workers in selected typical war industries
em ploying 25 or more Negroes, with reported percentage o f war work o f each enterprise,
hour8, and wage rate, by States, 1918---Continued.

able

TENNESSEE.
Number of un­
skilled workers.
Kind of industry of individual
enterprise.
W hite.

2

1
♦
A lum inum .............................

...........

Boxes................. .......................................
Brake shoes..............................................
Cement................. ...................................
Chemicals..................................................
Iron............................................................
D o.......... ............................................
D o.......................................................
Planing m ill..................................................

Shells.........................................................

Percent­
Rate of wages.
age of
war work Number
of hours
in which
in
workers working
were
Negro. engaged
day.
Per hour. Per day.
at plant.
3

287
187
4
154
10
130
375
525
900
143
550

4

5

6

263
188
154
120
100
120
100
375
600
69
250

100
75
100
100
100
100
85
100
98
95
100

10
11
10
10
10
10
8
10
8
10
8

30
45
70
120
80

100
100
100
100
100.

10 I0.30-.40
9 .30-. 33}
10
10
11
.30

100
70
100
100

10
10
10
9
10
8
10
10
10
10
10
8
11
11
10
10
9
9
10
12
10
8
10

$0.25
(*)

6
$2.25-2.50
»1.75
2.40-3.00

.30-. 38
2.50-3.00
.3 0 -. 40
is o
.3 0 -. 40

TE XA S.
Bridges.............. .......................................
Iron............................................................
Lumber.....................................................
D o.......................................................
Shipbuilding.............................................

300
6

75
40
40

$2.50-6.00
2.75

VIRGIN IA.
Ammimitintn boxes..................................
Cement......................................................
Chains__.
___
Chemicals.........
...............
D o.......................................................
Commissary contractor............................
Creosoted m aterial...................................
Fertilizer...................................................
D o.......................................................
Foundry....................................................
D o.......................................................
Guncotton.................................................
Houses.......................................................
Land and gravel.......................................
Lime..........................................................
Lumber.....................................................
D o.......................................................
D o.................... ..................................
Paving...................... .
.......... ..............
Pig iron.......... ............. * ...........................
P ip e .........................................................
Shell loading.............................................
Tobacco...............1....................................
i W ith board.

25
100
1
250
150
10
16
30
5
12
1,158
80
10
57
116
200
(i)

}

5
70
870
475

125
50
40
75
30
150
65
53
30
58
54
5,233
204
40
35
49
75
30
250
85
75
1,336
275

100
90
100
90
100
100
100
95
78
75
50
100
100
70
100
25

$3.85
3 .5 0 4 .0 0
$0.35
.35
4.00
2.50
.351.46
.3 8 }
.3 5 -. 40
.35
.3 5 -. 44
.3 5 -. 40

.35

4.00
3.75

3.00
2.50
3.25-4.25
3.00-4.00
3.00
' 3.85
2.75
2.00-5.00
3.84

* No figures available.

To ascertain more definitely and more in detail facts needed in
understanding the problems involved in the Negro’s new relation to
industry, the Inspection and Investigation Service undertook an in­
tensive study of several basic industries employing Negroes in 191819. Mr. Byron K . Armstrong and two other investigators were sent
to visit establishments that were employing perhaps large numbers
of Negroes. The study had to be discontinued before completion



TH E NEGRO AT WORK DURING TH E WORLD W AR.

41

because the service under which it was being made was abolished
after failure of appropriations. The data, therefore, cover only a
few plants in Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania and does not include
other States as originally planned. The conclusions that might
have been drawn, therefore, will necessarily be deferred until further
data is available.
The facts and figures that were secured, however, are illuminating
and instructive. The table which follows below (Table II) gives the
details as to kinds of occupations, the average number of hours
worked per week, the average earnings per week, and the average
earnings per hour of 4,260 white men and 2,722 Negro men in 194
occupations in 23 establishments, for six basic industries—foundries,
slaughtering and meat packing, automobiles, coke ovens, iron and
steel and their products, and glass manufacturing. A supplement
to this table (Table II) gives similar figures for 153 white and 83
Negro women in slaughtering and meat packing.
The occupations shown in these two tables have been classified as
skilled, semiskilled, and unskilled. This classification, to be sure, is
uncertain and open to serious question but is the best designation
feasible under our present lack of occupational analysis.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor, says in its
introductory statement to the first report on its “ Description of
Occupations” :
These descriptions of occupations are based on investigations, including private
interviews and correspondence, extending over practically the entire United States.
The one outstanding fact coming from this investigation is that there are ho standards
or generally accepted occupational names or definitions.

The classification in the tables given below, however, were made
as carefully as possible, with the assistance of the employment ex­
perts of the plants visited, upon the basis of descriptions of the
actual processes the worker performed. They are not presented
as conclusive, but only as indicative of the standards in proficiency
required and pay received for such work. Some occupations, “ car­
penters” for instance, have been classed as unskilled or semiskilled
that on further consideration might be otherwise listed. This has
been done in line with the classification of work into grades and plac­
ing the work done in a particular establishment in the class that seems
most indicative of its grade.
Two comparisons from Table II— the average hourly earnings of
Negro workers and the average number of hours worked per week—
call for comment. There were 85 occupations in which 5 or more
Negro men and 5 or more white men each were engaged in the 23
plants. Of these occupations 8 were classified as skilled, 25 were
classified as semiskilled, and 52 were classified as unskilled.
For purposes of these comparisons on the average hours worked
per week and average hourly earnings some cases of the same occupa­
tions in which five or more Negro workers and five or more white
workers were employed in different plants were reckoned as a differ­
ent unit of comparison of hours and of wages. The average number
of hours worked per week and the average weekly earnings are based
upon figures taken from the official records of each establishment.
The foundries were the only plants that employed any considerable
number of Negroes in skilled occupations. In 6 foundries there were
6 units of comparison in skilled occupations on |he basis here de­




42

TH E NEGRO AT WORK DURING TH E WORLD W AR.

scribed;' meat packing and slaughtering establishments reported only
1 such unit of comparison in skilled occupations; 5 automobile estab­
lishments repotted no skilled occupations in which 5 or more Negroes
were em ployed; coke ovens (1 establishment) and glass manufacturing
(1 establishment) had no skilled occupations in which § or more
Negroes were employed and only 1 out of 8 iron and steel plants re­
ported 1 skilled occupation which had a basis for such unit of com­
parison.
The fact that foundries have such a large representation of Negroes
in skilled occupations may be explained partly because Negroes have
probably had longer industrial experience in this industry than the
other occupations listed, except possibly coke ovens. In the table,
only 1 coke oven establishment is included, so a comparison can not
be made. In the South, for more than a generation foundries have
employed Negroes as molders and in other skilled and semiskilled
work. When Negro workers migrated North, this was the line in
which many of them had good skill and long experience. Their nonappearance in skilled occupations in iron and steel plants may be
partly because their entrance in large numbers into these plants
was to replace immigrant and foreign-born laborers who were doing
mainly semiskilled and unskilled work, partly because of the small
proportion of skilled work in the industry, partly because some
organized crafts in the industry were opposed to the employment of
Negroes in their trade, and partly because not a great many Negroes
possessed necessary training and experience to qualify for skilled work
m this field.
Taking such comparisons of skilled units in the foundries which
were studied, Negro workers showed a higher average number of
hours workea per week than white workers in 3 units and a higher
average earnings per hour in 1 unit. In 3 units Negro workers
showed a lower average number of hours worked per week than white
workers and in 5 units a lower average of earnings per hour than
white workers.
In the one unit of comparison of skilled occupations in slaughtering
and meat-packing establishments Negro workers showed a higher aver­
age number of hours worked per week and a higher average of earnings
per hour than white workers. In the one unit of comparison of skilled
occupations in the iron and steel industry the Negro workers showed
a lower average number of hours worked per week and lower average
earnings per hour than white workers.
Turning to units of comparison for occupations classed as semi­
skilled, in 5 foundries Negro workers showed a higher average num­
ber of hours worked per week than white workers in 3 units and a
higher average earnings per hour in 3 units. Negro workers made a
lower average number of hours worked than white workers in
2 units and a lower average *earnings per hour in 2 units. In
slaughtering and meat packing, in 1 unit of comparison of semi­
skilled occupations, Negro workers made a higher average number of
hours worked and a higher average earnings per hour than white
workers.
In automobile establishments in 6 units of comparison of semi­
skilled occupations, Negro workers showed the same average number
of hours worked as wmte workmen and the same average earnings



THE

N E G R O A T W O R K D U R IN G T H E

W ORLD W A R .

.

43

per hour. In the coke ovens establishment, Negro workers showed
a higher average number of hours than white workers in 1 unit and
a higher average earnings per hour in 1 unit; a lower average num­
ber of hours worked than white workers in 1 unit and a lower average
earnings per hour in 2 units. In iron and steel plants Negro workers
showed a higher average number of hours worked than •white
workers in 3 units of semiskilled occupations and a higher average
earnings per hour in 2 units; a lower average number of hours than
white workers in 1 unit and a lower average earnings per hour in
1 unit. Negro workers showed the same average number of hours
worked per week as white workers in 6 units and the same average
earnings per week in 7 units. In glass manufacture Negro workers
showed. a lower average number of hours worked in 1 unit of semi­
skilled occupations and a lower average hourly earnings in 1 unit.
Taking the semiskilled group as a whole for all establishments em­
ploying 5 or more Negro workers and 5 orm orewhite workers, there are
25 units of comparison. These show that Negro workers had a higher
average number of hours worked per week than white workers m 8
units and a higher average earnings per hour in 8 units, about
one-third in each. Negro workers showed a lower average number of
hours worked per week than white workers in 5 units and a lower
average earnings per hour in 5 units, about one-fourth in each. Negro
workers showed the same average number of hours worked per week
as white workers in 12 units and the same average earnings per hour
in 12 units.
The occupations classed as unskilled furnish the largest number of
units of comparison— 52 in all. In the foundries Negro workers
showed a higher average number of hours worked per week than
white workers in six units and a higher average earnings per hour in
five units. They showed a lower average number of hours worked
per week than white workers in two units, a lower average earnings
per hour in four units, and the same average number of hours worked
per week as white workers in one unit. In slaughtering and meat
packing Negro workers made a higher average number of hours
worked per veek than white workers in four units of unskilled occu­
pations and h higher average earnings per hour in two units. They
showed a lower average number of hours worked than white workers
in four units and lower average earnings per hour in six units.
In automobile establishments Negro workers showed the same
average number of hours worked as white workers and the same
average earnings per week in seven units of unskilled occupations.
At the coke ovens plant Negro workers showed a higher average
number of hours worked per week than white workers in seven
units and a higher average earnings per hour in five units. They
showed a lower average number of hours worked per week than
white workers in four units and lower average earnings per hour
than white workers in six units.
In the iron and steel industries Negro workers made a higher
average number of hours worked per weeK than white workers in four
units and a higher average earnings per hour in "six units of unskilled
occupations. They showed a lower average number o f hours worked
per week than white workers in six units and lower average earn­
ings per week than white workers in four units. They showed the
same average number of hours worked per week as white workers in




44

.

TH E NEGRO AT W ORK DURING TH E WORLD W AR.

five units and the same average earnings per week as white workers
in five units. In the glass manufacturing establishment Negro
workers showed a higher average number of hours worked per week
than white workers and a lower average earnings per week than
white workers in two units of comparison of unskilled occupations.
Taking the 52 units o f comparison o f unskilled occupations as a
whole, Negro workers showea a higher average number o f hours
worked per week than white workers in 23 units, nearly one-half of
the total, and a higher average earnings per week in 18 units, a little
more than one-third o f the total number. They showed a lower
average number o f hours worked per week than white workers in 16
units, or a little less than one-thira o f the total number, and a lower
average earnings per hour in 22 units or about two-fifths o f the
total number. Negro workers showed the same average number of
hours worked per week as white workers in 13 units, or about onefourth o f the total number, and the same average earnings per week
week as white workers in 12 units o f unskilled occupations, or less
than one-fourth o f the total number.
T o sum up the comparison o f unskilled units, Negro workers
showed a higher average number o f hours than white workers in
nearly one-half o f the total number o f units o f comparison, a lower
average number o f hours worked per week in a little less than onethird o f the total number, and the same average number o f hours
worked per week in about one-fourth of the total number of units.
The Negro workers showed a higher average earnings per week' than
white workers in a little more than one-tdnrd o f the total number of
units; a lower average weekly earnings in about two-fifths o f the
total number o f units, and the same average earnings per week as
white workers in less than one-fourth o f the total number o f units of
white and Negro workers compared in unskilled occupations.
Taking the total 85 units of comparison for the three classifications
o f skilled, semiskilled, and unskilled occupations in all the establish­
ments, the Negro workers showed a higher average number of hours
worked per week than whitq workers in 35 units, or considerably
mo^e than one-third o f the total number of units; a lower average
number of hours worked per week in 25 units, or less than one-third,
and the sam e average number o f hours worked per week as white
workers in 25 units, or less than* one-third o f the total units of com­
parison.
Negro workers showed' higher average earnings per hour than
white workers in 2 8 units, or about one-third o f the total number of
units o f comparison in the three classes o f occupations; they showed
lower average earnings per week in 33 units, or considerably more
than one^third o f the total; and the same average earnings per week
in 24 units, or somewhat less than one-third of the total number of
units o f comparison in all the occupations listed.
The figures in detail of Table IL showing classification of occu­
pations, the number of white and Negro employees, and the average
number of hours of work per week and the average earnings per week
and per hour of white ana Negro workers in the specified occupations
follows:




THE

N E G R O A T W O R K D U R IN G T H E

45

W ORLD W AR .

T a b l e I I . — Comparative table o f “ average hours o f work” and “ average earnings” o f

male white ana Negro employees engaged in specified occupations o f six basic indus­
tries— 1918-19.
[S, skilled; S-S, semiskilled; Un-S, unskilled.]

Estab­
lish­
ment
No.

Occupation.

Kind
of occu­
pation.

Number o f em-1
ployees.

Average num­
ber o f hours
worked per
week.

Average earn­
ings per week.

Average earn­
ings per hour.

W hite. Negro. W hite. Negro. W hite. Negro. W hite. Negro.
FOUNDRY (IRON AND
STEEL).

Carpenters...............
Furnace m en..........
Grinders...................
Laborers..................
M illwrights..............
M olders....................
Core m akers............
Chippers..................
Electric welders.......
Grinders...................
Laborers..................
....d o .......................
Molders....................
Core makers............
M olders1..................
.......d o.1.....................
5 Laborers..................
Molders....................
5A Carpenters...............
Casting chippers___
Casting cleaners.......
Core-room helpers...
Craters......................
Cupola helpers.........
Floor molders..........
Foundry helpers___
Helpers....................
Janitors....................
Laborers..................
Oven tenders...........
Sweepers..................
Yardm en..................
5B Chippers..................
Cub m olders............
Cupola men..............
Japanners...............
Laborers...................
Molders....................
Molders’ apprentices.
Molders’ helpers......
Shake-out men.........

S -S ...
S -S ...
S -S ...
U n -S .
s ........
S -S ...
s ........
S -S ...
s ........
S -S ...
U n-S .
U n -S .
s ........
s ........
g........
8
U n -S .
S........
S -S ...
S -S ...
U n -S .
S -S ...
S -S ...
S -S ...
s ........
S -S ...
U n-S .
U n-S .
U n -S ,
S -S ...
U n-S .
U rf-S.
S -S ...
S -S ...
S -S ...
S -S ...
U n -S .
S........
U n -S .
S -S ...
S -S ...

1
1
16
78
1
12
7
10
3
2
29
42
140
24
29
16
62
33
45
5
5
6
26
1
24
12
6
3
40
2
26
2
17
1
2
3
37
54
2
16
1

1
11
7
233
1
11
1
1
1
5
59
35
38
24
24
8
69
35
2
4
32
6
1
7
11
17
P
5
19
2
10
1
3
8
4
1
7
3
6
13
6

59.00
67.75
40.65
48.55
58.75
52.75
54.30
43.30
57.30
48.50
58.30
68.20
51.50
47.70
49.20
50.80
48.40
47.90
50.40
38.10
40.30
35.30
42.50
35.20
40.80
31.00
42.70
50.00
43.00
43.10
45.50
51.00
*60.25
58.50
65.00
*58.50
*56.30
*50.50
*62.50
*64.80
*37.50

38.00
62.00
45.40
46.95
58.25
48.15
56.00
53.00
57.00
44.90
58.70
68.65
47.20
55.60
53.30
50.85
43.30
, 45.40
48.10
48.40
50.60
40.00
28.50
52.90
37.60
41.90
52.20
44.80
43.00
51.50
55.90
51.00
*65.00
56.80
62.60
*58.50
*63.05
*39.65
*55.40
*54.25
*33.35

$23.60
28.79
15.49
17.41
26.44
30.22
28.44
22.98
38.63
27.39
24.70
23.96
25.23
31.12
28.53
28.71
24.91
28.47
26.29
14.97
15.21
12.05
17.56
13.83
25.38
11.78
17.27
18.24
17.74
20.39
14.50
16.95
*31.85
27.19
31.00
*32.74
*23.18
*35.89
*25.00
*29.12
*37.21

s .........
s .........
s .........
U n -S .
S.........
S.........
s .........
s .........
U n -S .
S.........
U n-S .
S.........
S.........
s .........
U n-S..
S -S ...

4
3
2
1
1
1
3
1
18
2
1
4
1
5
5
2

2
1
1
6
1
3
1
2
27
5
1
1
1
1
2
14

68.20
67.50
64.50
67.50
74.00
67.50
51.20
68.50
68.90
67.50
64.00
67.90
67.50
67.50
79.50
55.50

71.50
67.50
54.80
65.50
74.00
67.70
59.80
68.50
70.60
62.90
67.50
69.80
68.00
67.50
69.00
63.90

49.44
30.04
31.92
29.03
32.93
33.75
29.17
32.54
27.57
32.07
27.52
45.18
33.75
53.67
34.19
23.87

51.84
30.04
27.10
28.18
32.93
33.88
34.06
31.85
28.24
29.88
29.03
35.93
34.00
53.67
30.95
27.48

.7249
.4450
.4949
.4301
.4450
.5000
.5697
.4750
.4001
.4751
4300
.6654
.5000
.7951
.4301
.4301

.7264
.4450
.4945
.4302
..4450
.5004
.5696
.4650
.4000
.4827
.4301
.5148
.5000
.7951
.4485
.4300

s .........
U n -S .
S -S ...
s .........

2
3
5
1

1
11
1
3

70.90
64.20
74.60
67.50

67.50
71.50
67.50
60.50

36.85
25.68
32.08
30.72

35.10
28.59
29.03
31.63

.5197
.4000
.4300
.4551

.5200
.3999
.4301
.4551

$15.20 $0.4000 $0.4000
.4269
26.47
.4249
.3900
17.71
.3811
.3585
19.08
.4063
.4500
.4250
24.76
.5728
.5167
24.88
.5237
.5425
30.38
.4751
25.18
.5307
.6742
.7000
39.90
.5647
24.08
.5363
24.54
.4237
.4181
.3432
23.56
.3513
.4899
.4680
22.09
.6524
29.24
.5259
.5814
.5799
30.99
.5652
.5463
27.78
.5147
.5032
21.79
. 5Q11
24.35
.5363
23.71
15216
.4929
19.10
.3929
.3946
.3774
20.82
.4115
.3414
.3717
14.87
.4132
9.23
.3239
.4304
22.77
.3929
.6221
21.54
.5729
.3800
.3761
15.76
.4044
.3914
20.43
.3422
.3648
15.33
18.75
.4126
.4360
.3897
20.07
.4731
19.02
.3187
.3403
.3324
12.67
.2484
.5287
*47.50
.7308
28.34
.4648
.4990
27.71
.4769
.4427
*32.85
.5597
.5615
.4121
.4117
*25.98
.7362
*29.19
.7107
.4851
*26.88
.4000
.4850
*26.31
.4494
.9922
1.0383
*34.63

SLAUGHTERING AND
MEAT PACKING.

Backers....................
Brinze trimmers___
Caul pullers....... ......
Droppers (h oist)___
Fell beaters_______
Gutters.....................
Headers...................
Knockers................
Laborers.................
Leg breakers............
Pritchers-up..
Ruxnpers.........
Rum p sawyers.........
Splitters...................
Switchers-on rail___
Truckers.........
Beef casings:
Gut runners.......
Laborers______
M achlnem en...
Strippers..........

>Different types of molders,




s Compiled on a piecework basis.

46

TH E NEGRO AT WORK DURING TH E WORLD WAR,

T able I I .— Comparative table o f “ average hours o f work” and “ average earnings” o f
male white and Negro employees engaged in specified occupations o f six basic indus­
tries—1918-19— Continued.
[S, skilled; S-S, semiskilled; Un-S, unskilled.]

Estab­
lish­
ment
No.

Occupation.

Kind
of occu­
pation.

Number o f em­
ployees.

Average num­
ber o f hours
. worked per
week.

1
Average earn­
ings per week.

Average earn­
ings per hour.

W hite. Negro. W hite. Negro. W hite. Negro. White. Negro.
SLAUGHTERING AND
MEAT PACKING— COn.

6

D ry salt:

GraSers
Nailers................
Packers..............
Pilers.................
R ubbers............
Truckers............
Hog heads:
Laborers............
Skinheads.........
Hog killing:
Laborers............
Shave sides........
Snatchers...........
Sausage-making:
Laborers............
7 Beef killing:
Backers..............
Fell beaters.......
Fell cutters........
Foot skin ners...
Gullet raisers___
Gutters..............
Headers.............
Knockers...........
Laborers............
Leg breakers___
Rum p saw yers..
Splitters.............
Repair department:
Steamfltters.......
8 Canning department
(bacon):
Butchers............
Laborers............
Nailers...............
9 Beef coolers:
Knifemen..........
Laborers............
Pieceworkers___

S -S ...
S -S ...
U n -S .
U n -S .
U n -S .
U n -S .
U n -S .

1
2
5
3
5
5
12

1
1
1
2
5
5
12

66.50
76.90
56.30
52.20
62.90
64.70
65.50

46.30
51.30
67.00
58.30
63.90
59.90
61.30

$28.60
33.05
23.37
22.70
27.02
26.85
26.20

U n -S .
S.........

3
1

4
1

57.20
61.10

68.00
61.10

22.87
27.20

27.20
27.20

.3998
.4452

.4000
.4452

U n -S .
S ........
S.........

24
1 '
1

32
2
1

72.30
57.40
97.00

62.30
57.40
97.00

28.94
26.10
44.59

24.92
26.10
44.72

.4003
.4547
.4597

.4000
.4547
.4610

$19.88 60.4301
22.0$
.4298
28.81
.4151
25.05
.4349
27.09
.4296
24.83
.4150
24.53
.4000

$0.4294
.4292
.4300
.4297
.4239
.4145
.4002

U n -S .

36

2

47.80

69.20

19.12

27.67

.4000

.3999

S.........
s ___ _
8 ........
S ........
S -S ...
S ........
s ........
s ........
U n-S .
S ........
S ........
S ........

2
2
2
3
1
2
1
2
20
4
3
1

2
2
1
2
2
2
6
2
18
6
3
3

66.00
66.00
59.80
62.30
53.50
66.00
65.00
66.00
56.20
46.40
47.30
66.00

66.00
66.00
66.00
43.00
65.80
64.50
64.20
66.00
54.80
62.50
65.80
66.00

52.20
31.68
33.60
30.26
24.54
36.00
40.18
33.48
24.43
24.10
25.75
57.24

52.20
31.68
37.08
20.68
31.18
35.00
39.76
33.48
23.83
32.48.
35.89
57.24

.7909
.4800
.5619
.4857
.4587
.5455
.6181
.5073
.4347
.5194
.5444
.8673

.7909
.4800
.5618
.4809
.4739
.5426
.6193
.5073
.4349
.5197
.5454
.8673

S ........

52

13

65.70

72.60

37.68

41.76

.5735

.5752

S -S ...
U n -S .
S -S ...

3
100

4
1

11
84
2

57.70
58.40
56.30

56.90
59.10
51.50

25.89
25.21
24.85

25.83
25.45
22.80

.4487
.4317
.4414

.4540
.4306
.4427

S -S ...
U n -S .
S ........

14
20
3

13
34
4

64.80
58.70
61.30

67.80
59.90
47.90

27.33
23.41
48.00

29.11
23.88
30.83

.4218
.3988
.7830

.4294
.3987
.6436

S -S ...
S -S ...

6
25

4
1

50.00
50.00

50.00
50.00

22.57
30.00

22.57
22.80

.4514
.6000

.4514
.4560

S -S ...
S -S ...
S -S ...
S -S ...
S -S ...
U n -S .
U n -8 .
S........
S -S ...
S -S ...
U n -S .
U n -S .
U n -S .
S -S ...
8 -S . . .
Un- S .
S -S ...
U n -S .
S -S ...
s ........
U n -S .
U n -8 .
U n -S .

16
60
8
30
30

4
1
1
1
1
2

50.00
50.00
50.00
50.00
50.00
50.00
50.00
55.00
55.00
55.00
55.00
55.00
55.00
55.00
55.00
55.00
55.00
55.00
55.00
55.00
50.00
50.00
50.00
50.00

50.00
50.00
50.00
50.00
50.00
50.00
50.00
55.00
55.00
55.00
55.00
55.00
55.00
55.00
55.00
55.00
55.00
55.00
55.00
55.00
50.00
50.00
50.00

35.75
30.00
30.00
38.75
30.00
33.00
20.79
33.55
28.60
26.40
24.20
23.10
26.40
26.40
23.10
26.40
33.00
26.40
33.00
44.00
22.50
22.50
22.50
22.50

24.75
30.00
30.00
38.75
30.00
33.00
20.79
33.55
28.60
26.40
24.20
23.10
26.40
26.40
23.10
26.40
33.00
26.40
33.00
44.00
22.50
22.50
22.50
22.50

.7150
.6000*
.6000
.7750
.6000
.6600
.4158
.6100
.5200
.4800
.4400
.4200
.4800
.4800
.4200
.4800
.6000
.4800
.6000

.4950
.6000
.6000
.7750
.6000
.6600
.4158
.6100
.5200
.4800
.4400
.4200
.4800
.4800
.4200
.4800
.6000
.4800
.6000
.8000
.4500
.4500
.4500
.4500

AUTOMOBILES.

10

11

12

13

Boiler room ..............
Connecting rod de­
partment.
Enamel rubbers— .
Lathe departm ent..
Machine shop...........
Motor assembling. . .
Piston departm ent..
Sand-blast: room.......
Stock tracers............
Core makers.............
Heaters.....................
Inside laborers.........
Janitors.....................
Stock handlers.........
Truck drivers..........
Truckers...................
Chippers...................
Machine molders___
Grinders...................
Mold ram m ers........
Molders....................
Janitors....................
Laborers...................
Sweepers..................

 Truckers................. S-S,..


9

15

6

25
22
128
20
73
19
24
8

54
10
25
6

10
80
50
100

4

2
25
45
136
109
14
3
134
12
15
4
25
3
20

40
65
60

50.00

.8000

.4500
.4500
.4500
.4500

THE
T

N E G R O A T W O R K D U R IN G T H E

47

W ORLD W A R .

I I .— Comparative table o f average hours o f work,y and u average earnings” o f
male white and Negro employees engaged in specified occupations o f six basic indus­
tries—1918-19— Continued.

able

[S, skilled; S-S, semiskilled; Un-S, unskilled.]

Estab­
lish­
ment
No.

Occupation.

vKind
o f occu­
pation.

Number o f em­
ployees.

Average num­
ber o f hours
worked per
week.

Average earn­
ings per week.

Average earn­
ings per hour.

W hite. Negro. W hite. Negro. W hite. Negro. W hite. Negro.
COKE OVENS.*
14 Battery-door hoisters
Battery-house labor­
ers.
Battery laborers......
By-product labor....
Coal unloaders.........
Coke loaders.............
Crane engineers.......
Door cleaners...........
Dryermen................
Firemen...................
Foremen...................
Gas tenders..............
Laborers...................
Larrymen.................
Lidsm en..................
Luttermen................
Patchers...................
Pencflmen................
Pushers....................
Salt wheelers............
Standpipe men........
Sulphate laborers...
Water tenders..........

p

6 *144.90 * 131.30 *171.12 *164.17 10.4908 80.4887
6 *161.70 *150.00 *77.25 *70.76
.4717
.4777

S -S ...
U n -S .

10
11

U n -S .
U n -S .
U n -S .
U n -S .
S........
Un— .
S
U n -S .
U n -S .
S........
Un— .
S
Un— .
S
S -S ...
U n -S .
U n -S .
U n -S .
U n -S .
S -S ...
U n -S .
U n -S .
U n -S .
S -S ...

11
15
46
9
3
6
20
1
2
5
149
5
5
31
12
30
12
6
5
30
3

17
26
16
1
2
1
6
25
1
13
36
15
20
13
1
9
1
2
16
3
1

*150.30
*139.60
*163.20
* 142.60
*156.00
*165.90
* 151.70
*180.00
*156.00
* 158.10
*149.80
*108.50
*160.70
*152.20
*148.00
* 142.50
*158.30
*133.30
*160.70
*140.90
*175.00

*156.50
* 149.50
*163.80
*167.50
*155.00
*143.00
*161.70
* 152.70
*168.00
*153.20
*143.00
*155.20
*156.20
* 157.60
*144.00
*154.90
* 167.50
*134.00
*144.60
*164.00
*180.00

S ........

74.35

72.40

*68.88
*65.73
*80.32
*68.62
*96.30
*78.38
*73.01
*87,50
*98.58
*80.10
*76.55
*53.17
*77.36
*73.44
*69.81
*66.35
*77.70
*63.29
*77.21
*66.30
*94.27

*73.04
*70.70
*75.58
*85.52
*92.75
*67.72
*77.03
*74.24
*104.43
*77.41
*79.08
*76.08
*75.07
*75.90
*68.04
*72.92
*82.16
*72.18
*69.92
*77.24
*97.12

.4582
.4708
.4922
.4812
.6173
.4638
.4813
.4861
.6319
.5066
.5110
.4900
.4814
.4825
.4717
.4656
.4908
.4748
.4807
.4736
.5387

.4668
.4729
.4614
.5106
.5984
.4736
.4764
.4862
.6216
.5053
.5530
.4902
.4806
.4816
.4725
.4708
.4905
.5387
.4835
.4710
.5396

41.56

40.47

.5590

.5589

30.04
32.16
30.13
51.68
51.33
50.47

.5007
.4764
.4644
.7046
.7007
.6705

.5057
.4726
.4304
.6811
.6894
.7103

IRON AND STEEL AND
THEIR PRODUCTS.

15
16
17

18

Transportation:
Switchmen........
Plate m ill:
Cindersnappers.
Hookers.............
Laborers............
Pushers..............
Scrapmen..........
Shear helpers.. .
Blast furnace:
Cinder laborers..
First helpers___
Handymen........
Keepers, furnace
Laborers............
Larrycar helper.
Larrycar opera• tors.
Stockhouse la­
borers.
Gas makers.......
Laborers............
D o..............
D o..............
Car checkers—
Furnacemen—
Inspectors..........
Laborers............
Machine opera­
tors.
Spring form ers..
Assemblers........
Laborers............
Machine hands..
Maintenance—
Picklers a n d
sharers.
,
Piercers..............

45

12

U n -S .
U n -S .
U n -S .
U n -S .
U n -S .
U n -S .

3
2
17
5
12
22

1
1
1
5
15
23

78.00
66.00
67.85
73.40
74.20
77.55

60.00
68.00
70.00
75.80
74.45
71.05

39.06
31.44
31.51
51.72
51.99
52.00

U n -S .
S -S ...
U n -S .
S........
U n -S .
U n -S .
S -S ...

36
21
1
18
121
35
22

3
18
6
4
20
6
2

72.35
69.75
78.00
73.75
64.50
73.10
62.60

64.00
61.90
73.80
75.00
62.65
62.00
63.00

35.52
34.14
45.05
40.73
30.04
35.75
34.78

31.42
30.31
42.25
41.20
29.43
30.41
33.08

.4909
.4895
.5775
.5523
.4657
.4890
.5555

.4909
.4896
.5725
.5493
.4697
.4905
.5250

U n -S .

3

6

54.00

48.85 | 25.91

22.85

.4798

.4678

S -S ...
U n -S .
U n -S .
S -8 . ..
U n -S .
U n -S .
S -S ...
U n -S .
S -S ...

1
4
212
53
2
8
15
12
21

10
2
146
10
1
11
2
13
3

67.00
44.60
81.55
85.85
62.25
67.70
61.40
60.95
55.65

69.70
46.50
69.55
91.70
50.00
62.75
61.40
61.50
48.40

24.74
18.18
33.99
43.51
29.13
33.86
30.71
25.62
35.35

25.59
16.38
35.57
45.29
19.95
31.60
32.69
26.83
25.40

.3693
.4076
.4168
.5068
.4680
.5001
.5002
.4203
.6352

.3671
.3523
.5114
.4939
.3990
.5036
.5324
.4363
.5248

S— . . .
s
S -S ...
U n -S .
S ........
s - s :..
S -S ...

21
74
19
145
55
16

4
1
20
1
20
13

63.05
50.00
50 00
50.00
50.00
50.00

37.55
50.00
50.00
50.00
50.00
50.00

54.19
22.50
20.00
35.00
22.50
22.50

33.00
22.50
20.00
35.00
22.50
22.50

.8595
.4500
.4000
.7000
.4500
.4500

.8788
.4500
.4000
.7000
.4500
.4500

s - s ...

95

24

50.00

50.00

22.50

!
22.50 i .4500

.4500

* Average number of hours and average earnings under this coke-oven schedule were available only fora
period o fl3 days, and it was impracticable, therefore, to try to estimate the weekly hours and earnings.




48

T H E N E G R O A T W O R K D U R IN G T H E

W ORLD W AR .

I I .— Comparative table o f “ average hours o f w ork" and 1 average earnings" o f
1
male white and Negro employees engaged in specified occupations o f six basic indus­
tries—1918-19—Continued.

T able

[8, skilled; S-S, sem iskilled; U n-S, unskilled.]

Estab­
lish­
ment

Occupation.

.NO.

Kind
of occu­
pation.

Number o f em­
ployees.

Average num­
ber o f hours
worked per
week.

Average earn­
ings per week.

Average earn­
ings per hour.

W hite. Negro. W hite. Negro. W hite. Negro. W hite. Negro.
IRON AND STEEL AND
THEIR PRODUCTS—
co n tin u e d .

Blast furnace—Con.
Punch p r e s s
hands.
Punch p r e s s
helpers.
Stock handlers..
19
Ram m erm en’s
' helpers.
Laborers (ra w
material).
Sweepers............
20
Truckers............
Yardm en...........
21
Nutmakers........
D o.........
Packing..............
Trimmers..........
Coring...............
22
Forcing..............
Furnace.............
Molding..............
S to ck ro o m ... . .
18

8- S ...

16

1

60.00

50.00

322.50

U n -S .

46

17

60.00

50.00

20.00

20.00

.4000

.4000

U n -S .
S -S ...

13
113

8
14

60.00
41.05

50.00
41.15

20.00
21.35

20.00
21.72

.4000
.5201

.4000
.5278

Unr-S.

67

23

52.60

49.25

21.33

19.93

.4055

.4047

U n -S .
S -S ...
U n -S .
S -S ...
U n -S .
S -S ...
S -S ...
S -S ...
U n -S .
S -S ...
8- S ...
U n -S .

2
5
6
3
1
7
8
29
47
77
15
28

7
18
47
2
1
2
1
6
28
13
18
7

47.00
49.25
55.30
53.50
53.50
53.50
53.50
53.00,
53.00
53.00
53.00
53.00

53.60
50.00
62.45
53.50
48.50
53.50
35.00
53.00
53.00
53.00
53.00
53.00

15.82
15.95
17.98
25.47
24.08
24.08
19.32
22.79
22.79
22.79
22-79
22.79

16.84
17.08
19.39
25.47
18.68
24.08
20.63
22.79
22.79
22.79
22.79
22.79

.3367
.3238
.3251
.4750
.4500
.4500
.3611
.4300
.4300
.4300
.4300
.4300

.3142
.3416
.3105
.4750
.3852
.4500
.5894
.4300
.4300
.4300
.4300
.4300

U n -S .
S -S ...
S -8 . . .
U n -S .

30
27
10
36

16
11
2
6

48.80
53.20
56.70
60.10

49.60
50.70
60.60
69.40

14.75
16.72
22.65
18.52

14.09
15.08
21.00
20.21

.3023
.3143
.3995
.3082

.2841
.2974
.3465
.2912

322.50 30.4500

30.4500

MANUFACTURING
GLASS.

23

Keepers....................
Packers....................
Producermen...........
Yard laborers..........




THE

N E G R O A T W O R K D U R IN G T H E

49

W ORLD W AR.

Comparative table o f “ average hours o f work” and “ average earnings” o f fem ale white
and Negro employees engaged in specified occupations in the slaughtering and meat­
packing industry.

Occupation.

Kind
of
occu­
pation.

Average
number of
hours worked
per week.1
•

Number of
employees.

Average
earnings
per week.

Average
earnings
per hour.

Total ‘
lar” ]
per\

1
White. Negro. White. Negro. White, jNegro. White. Negro. White.

HOG-HEAD PREPA­
RATION.

Washers and trim­
mers.

U n-S .

7

7

57.4

57.4 $19.50 $19.50 $0.3397 $0.3397

48

48

U n-S .
U n-S .

9
6

12
1

48.8
47.8

49.1
46.6

15.09
14.48

14.96
14. 22

.3092
.3029

.3047
.3052

48
48

48
48

U n-S .

20

13

50.5

46.7

16.87

16.04

.3341

.3436

48

48

U n-S .
U n -S .
U n-S .
U n-S .
U n-S.
U n-S.
U n-S .

2
9
9
36
22
6
27

8
2
2
19
4
3
12

56.0
57.1
52.3
53.0
55.2
50.6
51.2

55.1
59.5
36.0
57.3
51.5
56.2
56.5

17.69
18.11
34.11
16.78
19.41
16.09
16.20

17.41
18.87
22.36
18.16
17.65
17.80
17.86

.3159
.3172
.6522
.3166
.3516
.3180
.3164

.3160
.3171
.6211
.3169
.3427
.3167
.3161

48
48
48
48
48
48
48

48
48
48
48

SAUSAGE MANUFAC­
TURING.

Casings workers—
Sa u s a g e - t y i n g
workers.
Stuffing-room
workers.
CANNING
DEPART­
MENT (BACON).

Bacon wipers..........
Can oilers.................
Can painters............
Can wipers..............
Scalers.....................
Solder droppers.......
Wrappers................

1The number of hours in excess of 48 should be regarded as “ overtime.”

1989°—21----- i




C
n
O
T

able

I I I .— Opinions o f $8 employers o f Negro workers showina the attitude o f firm s toward Negro labor, the opportunities fo r prom otion, and opin
ion on comparative behavior o f white and colored employees fo r 101,458 white and 6,757 colored employees,1 1918-19.

2

1

Full opportunity
Extent of abilitv *

3

Small e x te n t__

4 Same an whiten

3
«

__d o ...............

Full ex ten t4 ....................

7 flame henln an white
8

Skilled women 1 1
5 ft

9

10
11

Trt all ATMnf
arnrlr
Small extent
Tn all (wvmnafinno

12

To the m ajority

13
14
15
16
17
18

19

Extent of ahilit.y

Is there equal
opportunity
for unskilled
Do the Negro
Negro work­ workmen show
men to learn
am bition for
semiskilled
or skilled proc­ advancement?
esses as white
workmen?

. .. Yes
............ N o................... Yes *......... None............... Equal tim e ....
L ocally. . . Yes
. ..d o ......... Y es........... Y es................. Yes, small
No record. No comparison No record.......
number.
No record. Y es........... Y es................. Y es................. N o............ No record....... Two weeks,
equal.
L o ca lly ... Y es.......... Y es................. N o................... N o............ No difference.. No difference..
week,
.. do . . . Y es.......... Y es................. Y es................. N o............ None............... One
equal.
.... ...d o ......... Y es........... Y es................. N ot as a whole. N o............ No record....... Varies, equal
tim e.
. . d o......... Y es........... Y es................. Y e s«............... N o............ None............... No difference..
Longer for col­
d o ......... Yes, wo­ Y es................. Y es................. Yes t.........
ored.
men.
V A^
j
Hn
Yes
Yes%............... Y es........... .......d o ............. No difference..
.. d o......... Yes
. . . . Y es................. Y es................. N o............ No difference.. About the same
Yes
No record.......
Y es................. N o............ No record
No recruit­ Yas
ing.
.......d o .............
L oca lly... Y es........... Yes *............... Yes, a few....... None........
d o. .

Yes

___ Y es.................

Yes •...............

___ Yes
............ Yes. a few.......
According to ability................... ...d o ......... Yes
___ Y es................. Y es.................
On the same basis...................... ...d o ......... Yes
All hr%nr<^M
do
Yes
___ Y es................. Not as a ru le ...
N on e.......................................... .. d o ......... Y es......... . -Y e s................. Y es.................
No discrim ­ Y es................. Not in all cases
do
T- ..............
d o 11. .
ination.
Y es........... Y es................. Not as a ru le..
According to ability...................




Number of persons on the
W hat time is
Is there any What differ­
pay roll.
required to
Is there a
difference ence, if any, in
break in em­
in the gpn- the loss o f ma­ ployees to the Negro la­
terials due to work and what bor adviser?
duct and
behavior defective work- difference, if I f so, what
of Negro . manship be­ any,exists be­ are the re­
W hite. Negro.
tween white
and white
tween white sults ofh is Total.
advice?
and Negro
workers in
and Negro
employees?
the plant?
workers?

Y e s10....... N one............... Two weeks,
equal.
N o............ .......d o ............. No record.......
N o....... . .......d o ............. ....... d o .............
N o............ .....d o .............
N o............ .......d o ............. No difference..
Less time for
N o............
whites.
N o difference..
N o............

N o............
Yes, 3; no
record.
N o............
N o............
N o............

118
506

51
239

67
267

• 45

2

43

16
23

2
10

14
13

Yes *.........

591

526

65

N o............
N o............

6,200
6,200

6,000
6,000

200
200

N o............
N o............

84

42

42

Yes; no
record.
N o............

1,589

1,364

225

1,326

1,320

6

N o............
N o............
N o............
N o............
N o............

3,157
449
4,826
8,396
6,500

3,145
358
4,553
7,719
6,400

12
91
273
677
100

N o............

42,892

41,963

929

TH E NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR,

--------------------- *
Does the
Does the
manage*
ment re­
ment pro­
T o what extent are Negroes cruit Negro m ote Negro
skilled
adm itted to skilled occupa­
workmen workmen
tions?
to the
locally or
skilled
from dis­
ranks?
tant points?

Butchers, only........................... ...d o ......... Y es........... Y es1
*...............
Same as whites........................... ...d o ......... Y es........... Y es.................
No discrimination...................... . . . d o . ____ Y es........... Y es.................
....... d o ..........................................
Y es........... Y es.................
Not at all....................................
Yes, semi­ Y es.................
skilled.
No skilled Negroes.....................
Y es.......... Y es.................
No discrimination...................... ...d o ......... Y es.......... Y es.................
Yes, when Y es.................
efficient.
Same as any other class............ ...d o ......... Y es........... Y es.................
Molders, only.............................
N o 17......... N o...................

According to ability.................. ...d o .........
Small extent only...................... None em­
ployed.
None in skilled lines.................. Locally. . .
No limits....................................
Semiskilled, only........ ■
..............
None...........................................

None em­
ployed.

Y es1 .. .
*
Mo reeord
Y es1
4
Same tim e___
No g e n era lly . N o............ No difference.. N o reeord
Hn
None
No
do
In some cases.. No............
No difference..

No
No.
No
N
r>
No

99
3,200
700
807
560

38
1,920
593
740
518

61
1,280
107
67
42

No reeord
N o............ No record
N o............ None............... ___do . .
Y e s1
6
No difference.. Longer for col­
ored.
"Rnnal firne
None
Y es................. N o............ ... do . .
Depends upon
person.
Y es........... Y es................. Same as whites No............ No difference.. About the same
Y es........... Yes m .............. Y es................. No............ None..
No difference..
Yes, mold­ N o................... Yes
..........
No............ The same
About the same
ers.
Y es........... Y es................. In rare cases.. N o............ None..........
The same
N o............ N o................... N o................... Yes » .......
Longer for Ne­
groes.
Y es.......... Y es................. Not as a rule.. No............ Greater for col­
ored.
Y es......... Y es................. Some d o . .
No............ About the same Same time, both
Yes, semi­ Y es................. Same as whites N o............ .......d o ............. __ do .
skilled.
N o............ N o................... Not as a ru le.. No............ ___ d o . . .
N o reeord

No
No
No

394
51

36i
34

33
17

6,346 . 5,231

1,115

Y es.................
N o.................

Total.................................
1 Approximate number.
• Negroes are more inclined to loaf.
• Except as to molders.
« Except three trades, as to which the union members make objection.
• N ot known as such to the workers.
• But not as much as might be wished for.
• Negroes are late oftener and have poorer attendance records.
• From the standpoint of the company, not from the standpoint of the workmen.
• To a marked degree.
1# Negro workers ‘rvisit ” quite a deal of the time.




No
No
No
No

84
24
107

42
16
70

42
8
37

No
No

7,850
277

7,510
201

340
76

No

1,364

1,243

121

No

191
117

164
23

27
94

No

3,126

3,060

66

108,215

101,458

6,757

1 Locally for ordinary labor; Negro skilled workmen not employed.
1
1 Butchers and meat curers.
1
1 Negro workers not as serious as white workers.
1
1 Conduct and behavior of Negro workers caused by high turnover,
4
w Ordinary workmen.
lfl Not as steady as whites.
1 Excepting molders and carpenters,
7
w Because of labor troubles,
i® Excepting pattern making.
*° Negro men will not work steadily.

TH E NEGRO AT WORK DURING rTH E WORLD WAR,

Not as mechanics w................... ...d o ..........
All except pattern making....... ...d o .........
Only to molders.........................

.......d o .............

C7T

CHAPTER VII.
STATISTICS ON THE MEAT-PACKING AND STEEL INDUSTRIES.

One of the evidences of the growing importance of Negroes in
northern industries is shown by the increasing percentage of Negroes
employed in one or two o f the large meat-packing establishments in
Chicago during 1916, 1917, and 1918, and a steel company of Indiana
Harbor for all the months o f 1918.
In the first meat-packing company, beginning July 13, 1918, and
running through to February 28, 1919, it is shown that at the begin­
ning o f this period there were 4,734 white employees, or 81.89 per
cent, and 1,047 Negro employees, oi*$8.11 per cent of the labor force.
There were 796 white women, or 87.19 per cent, and 117 Negro
women, or 12.81 per cent. A t the close of the period there were 4,925
white employees, or 83.38 per cent, and 982 Negro employees, or 16.62
per cent of the total number, while there were 821 white women con­
stituting 89.24 per cent, and 99 Negro women, or 10.76 per cent of
the total number o f employees. These figures indicate the importance
in numbers and percentage o f Negro workers in the slaughtering
and meat-packing industry, for the total number of white em­
ployees at the beginning of the period was 81.89 per cent and
at the close 83.38 per cent and the number of Negro employees at the
beginning o f the period was 18.11 per cent and at the close 16.62 per
cent. This shows that there was a slight reduction in the percentage of
Negro employees, both male and female, during the period, but that
the reduction was very light, being slightly more than 1.5 per cent
for Negro men and 2 per cent for Negro women.
The table following shows the details of the variation by weeks:
52




T able I V .— Number o f employees o f the first meat-packing company, distributed by color and sex, fo r a period o f SO successive weeks, beginning
July IS, 1918.

1

2

3

4
5
6

7
8

9
10

1
1
12

13
14
15
16
17
18
19.
20 .
21 .

5,781
5,792
5,802
5,840
5,995
5,937
6,036
5,981
5,916
5,919
5,826
5,852
5,844
5,753
5,445
5,570
5,787
5,803
5,785
6,115
6,045
6,319
6,360
6,565
6,346
6,380
6,362
6,372
6,180
5,907




Total number of employees, distributed
by color.

White.

4,734
4,714
4,762
4,716
4,887
4,860
4,883
4,873
4,810
4,864
4,824
4,826
4,865
4,775
4,490
4,623
4,779
4,771

Percent. Colored. Per cent.

81.89
81.39
82.07
80.75
81.52
81.86
80.89
81.47
81.30
82.18
82.80
82.47
83.25
83.00
8 2 .4 6

83.00
82.58
82.22

4 ,7 4 4

82.01

4,994
4,916
5,134
5,166
5,369
5,231
5,239
5,284
5,311
5,052
4,925

81.67
81.32
81.25
81.23
81.78
82.43
82.12
83.06
83.35
81.75
83.38

1,047
1,078
1,040
1,124
1,108
1,077
1,153
1,108
1,106
1,055
1,002
1,026
979
978
955
947
1,008
1,032
1,041
1,121
1,129
1,185
1,194
1,196 '
1,115
1,141
1,078
1,061
1,128
982

18.11
18.61
17.93
19.25
18.48
18.14
19.11
18.53
18.70
17.82
17.20
17.53
16.75
17.00
17.54
17.00
17.42
17.78
17.99
18.33
18.68
18. 75
18. 77
18.22
17.57
17.88
16.94
16.65
18.25
16.62

Male employees.

Total.

4,868
4,916
4,832
4,853
4,912
4,883
4 ,8 7 4

4,907
4,820
4,800
4,765
4,743
4,780
4,721
4,471
4,548
4,680
4,735
4, 729
4,950
4,977
5,283
5,343
5,499
5,315
5,355
5,374
5,409
5,153
4,987

White.

3,938
3,953
3,906
3,883
3,969
3,962
3,922
3,968
3,893
3,920
3,924
3,956
3,921
3,868
3,650
3,725
3,818
3,855
3,834
3,970
3,981
4,232
4,281
4,440
4,334
4,349
4,420
4,463
4,215
4,104

Female employees.

Percent. Colored.

Per cent.

930
963
926
970
943
921
952
939
927
880
841
887
859
853
821
823
862
880
895
980
996
1,051
1,062
1,059
981
1,006
954
946
938
883

19.10
19.59
19.16
19.99
19.20
18.86
19.53
19.14
19.23
18.33
17.65
18.32
17.97
18.07
18.36
18.10
18.42
18.59
18.93
19.80
20.01
19.89
19.88
19.26
18.46
18.79
17.75
17.49
18.20
17.71

80.90
80.41
80.84
80.01
80.80
81.14
8 0 .4 7

80.86
80.77
81.67
82.35
81.68
82.03
81.93
81.64
81.90
81.58
81.41
81.07
80.20
79.99
80.11
80.12
80.74
81.54
81.21
82.25
82.51
81.80
82.29

Total.

913
876
970

987
1,083
1,054
1 ,1 6 2

1,074
1,096
1,119
1,061
1,009
1,064
1,032
974
1,022
1,107
1,068
1,056
1,165
1,068
1,036
1,017
1,066
1,031
1,025
988
963
1,027
920

White.

796
761
856
833
918
898
961
905
917
944
900
870
944
907
840
898
961
916
910
1,024
935
902
885
929
897
890
864
848
837
821

Per cent. Colored.

87.19
86.87
88.25
84.40
84.76
85.20
82.70
84.26
83.67
84.36
. 84.83
86.22
88.72
87.89
86.24
87.87
86.81
85.77
86.17
87.90
87.55
87.07
87.02
87.15
87.00
86.83
87.45
88.06
81.50
89.24

117
115
114
154
165
156
201
169
179
175
161
139
120
125
134
124
M6
152
146
141
133
134
132
137
134
135
124
115
190
99

Percent.

12.81
13.13
11.75
15.60
15.24
14.80
17.30
15.74
16.33
15.64
15.17
13.78
11.28
12.11
13.76
12.13
13.19
14.23
13.83
12.10
12.45
12.93
12.98
12.85
13.00
13.17
12.55
11.94
18.50
10.76

THE NEGRO AT WORK 'DURING THE WORLD WAR.

Total
number
of
employ­
ees, white
and
colored,
male and
female.

O
r

C
O

54

TH E NEGRO AT WORK DURING TH E WORLD W AR.

The figures of the second meat-packing company give a very
large showing of the increasing use of Negro employees in this plant,
one o f the largest in the industry. A t the beginning of the period
(January, 1916, to January, 1919, or a period of 159 weeks), the
plant was employing a total o f 8,361 employees- Of these, 8,050, or
96.28 per cent, were white and 311, or 3.72 per cent, were colored.
The full figures cover the period just preceding the entrance of the
United States into the war, the entire period during which our
country was at war, and approxim ately the three months following
the signing o f the armistice. The total number of employees o f this
firm gradually increased until it reached the mark of 16,989 em­
ployees during the last week in November, 1918, and 17,434 during
the third week; of December, 1918. The number of colored em­
ployees, however, increased more rapidly in proportion than the
number of white employees, reaching a maximum of 24.09 per cent
o f the total in March, 1918, and ranging from that time on between.
17 and 21 per cent of the total. A t the close of the period, Feb­
ruary, 1919, the firm was employing 13,928 workers, of whom 11,123,
or 79.86 per cent, were white employees and 2,805, or 20.14 per cent,
were colored employees. This shows a proportionate increase, nearly
fivefold, in the number o f Negro employees.
V .— Number o f employees o f the second meat-packing company, distributed by
color, fo r a period o f 159 successive weeks, January, 1916, to January, 1919. (See
graphs follow ing.)

T able

Week
No.

1..........
2..........
3..........
4..........
5..........
6..........
7..........
8..........
9..........
10..........
11..........
12..........
13..........
14..........
15..........
16..........
17..........
18..........
19..........
20..........
21..........
22..........
23..........

.....

15..........
26..........
27...........
28..........
29..........
30..........
31...........
32..........
33...........
34..........
35..........
36..........
FRASER

Total number o f employees,
Total
distributed by color.
number
ofem ployees,
white
and Ne­
gro,
Per
Per
male W hite. cent. Negro. cent.
and fe­
male.
8,361
7,989
8,008
7,941
7,824
7,904
7,889
8,064
8,037
8,213
8,330
8,141
8,123
7,971
7,982
7,766
7,414
7,158
7,479
7,449
7,399
7,421
7,705
7,696
7,811
7,937
8,062
8,306
8,081
8,123
8,514
8,681
8,884
8,959
8,737
9,134

8,050
7,683
7,699
7,569
7,470
7,527
7,476
7,673
7,637
7,824
7,938
7,795
7,766
7,632
7,591
7,363
6,941
6,604
6,947
6,936
6,900
6,907
7,121
7,101
7,184
7,270
7,329
7,532
7,309
7,312
7,495
7,657
7,831
7,837
7,654
7,830

Digitized for


96.28
96.17
96.14
95.32
95.48
95.23
94.76
94.92
95.02
95.26
95.29
95.75
95.61
95.75
95.10
94.81
93.62
92.26
92.89
93.10
93.26
93.07
92.42
92.27
91.97
91.60
90.91
90.88
90.45
90.02
88.03
88.20
88.15
87.48
87.60
85.72

311
306
309
372
354
. 377
413
411
400
389
392
346
357
339
391
403
473
554
532
514
499
514
584
595
627
667
733
774
772
811
1,019
1,024
1,053
1,122
1,083
1,304

3.72
3.83
3.86
4.68
4.52
4.77
5.24
5.08
4.98
4.74
4.71
4.25
4.39
4.25
4.90
5.19
6.38
7.74
7.11
6.90
6.74
6.93
7.58
7.73
8.03
8.40
9.09
9.32
9.55
9.98
11.97
11.80
11.85
12.52
12.40
14.28

Week
No.

37..........
38..........
39..........
40..........
41..........
42..........
43..........
44..........
45..........
46..........
47..........
48..........
49..........
50..........
51..........
52..........
53..........
54..........
55..........
56..........
57..........
58..........
50..........
60..........
61..........
62..........
63..........
64..........
65..........
66..........
67..........
68..........
69..........
70..........
71..'.......
72..........

Total number o f employees,
Total
distributed by color.
number
o f em­
ployees,
white
and Ne­
gro,
Per
Per
male White. cent. Negro. cent.
and fe­
male.
9,316
9,180
9,425
9,620
9,872
10,084
10,129
10,229
10,394
10,630
10,749
10,980
10,582
10,135
10,284
10,173
10,255
10,428
10,473
10,188
10,175
10,075
10,102
10,155
10,145
10,036
10,142
10,223
10,115
10,264
10,533
10,646
10,640
10,416
10,452
10,181

8,007
7,927
8,101
8,240
8,344
8,637
8,673
8,686
8,830
8,977
9,057
9,070
8,802
8,450
8,579
8,495
8,598
8,700
8,746
8,614
8,525
8,423
8,460
8,503
8,510
8,372
8,464
8,512
8,243
8,384
8,673
8,607
8,722
8,442
8,504
8,199

85.95
86.35
85.95
85.65
84.52
85.65
85.63
84.92
84.95
84.45
84.26
82.60
83.18
83.37
83.42
83.51
83.84
83.43
83.51
84.55
83.78
83.60
83.83
83.73
83.88
83.41
83.45
83.26
81.49
81.68
82.34
81.69
81.97
81.05
81.36
8a 53

1,309
1,253
1,324
1,380
1,528
1,447
1,456
1,543
1,564
1,653
1,692
1,910
1,780
1,685
1,705
1,678
1,657
1,728
1,727
1,574
1,650
1,652
1,633
1,652
1,635
1,664
1,678
1,711
1,872
1,880
1,860
1,949
1,918
1,974
1,948
1,982

14.05
13.65
14.05
14.35
15.48
14.35
14.37
15.08
15.05
15.55
15.74
17.40
16.82
16.63
16.58
16.49
16.16
16.57
16.49
15.45
16.22
16.40
16.17
16.27
16.12
16.59
16.55
16.74
18.51
18.32
17.66
18.31
18.03
18.95
18.64
19.47

THE

N E G R O A T W O R K D U R IN G T H E

55

W ORLD W AR.

V .— Number o f employees o f the second meat-parking company, distributed by
color, fo r a period o f 159 successive weeks, January, 1916, to January, 7019. (See
graphs follow in g)— Continued..

T able

Total
number
of em-

Total number of employes,
distributed by color.

Week
and Ne­
No.
gro, W hite.
male
and fe­
male.
73.........
74.........
75.........
76.........
77.........
78.........
79.........
80.........
81.........
82.........
83.........
84.........
85.........
86.........
87.........
88.........
89.........
90.........
91.........
92.........
93.........
94.........
95.........
96.........
97.........
98.........
99.........
100.........
101.........
102.........
103.........
104.........
105.........
106.........
107.........
108.........
109.........
110.........
I l l .........
112.........
113....... ".
114.........
115
116

8,312
10,385
10,353 8,295
10,360 8,402
8,442
10,534
10,465 8,289
8,498
10,705
10,679 8,401
10,522 8,170
10,653 8,460
10,653 8,535
10,648 8,436
10,821
8,546
8,491
10,748
10,745 8,387
11,375 8,825
11,462 8,961
11,633
8,902
11,842 9,280
11,856 9,409
11,869 9,384
12,203 9,794
12,638 10,117
12,846 10,338
13,019 10,611
12,889 10,380
13,305 10,903
13,778 11,157
13,726 11,118
14,064 11,129
13,259 10,185
13,654 10,787
14,018 11,043
13,492 10,748
13,878 10,809
13,665 10,681
13,624 10,700
13,858 11,109
13,958 11,367
13,865 10,525
14,086 11,499
14,054 11,026
13,758 10,924
12,916 10,351
....................
13,397 10,875
....................




Per
cent.

80.04
80.12
81.10
80.14
79.21
79.38.
78.67
77.65
79.41
80.12
79.23
78.98
79.00
78.05
77.58
78.18
76.52
78.36
79.36
79.06
80.26
80.05
80.48
81.50
80.53
81.95
80.98
81.00
79.13
76.82
79.00
78.78
79.66
77.89
78.16
78.54
80.16
81.44
75.91
81.63
78.45
79.40
80.14
81.17

Negro.

2,073
2,058
1,958
2,092
2,176
2,207
2,278
2,352
2,193
2,118
2,212
2,275
2,257
2,358
2,550
2,501
2,731
2,562
2,447
2,485
2,409
2,521
2,508
2,408
2,509
2,402
2,621
2,608
2,935
3,074
2,867
2,975
2,744
3,069
2,984
2,924
2,749
2,591
3,340
2,587
3,028
2,834
2,565
2,522

Per
cent.

19.96
19.88
18.90
19.86
20.79
20.62
21.33
22.35
20.59
19.88
20.77
21.02
21.00
21.95
22.42
21.82
23.48
21.64
20.64
20.94
19.74
19.95
19.52
18.50
19.47
18.05
19.02
19.00
20.87
23.18
21.00
21.22
20.34
22.11
* 21.84
21.46
19.84
18.56
24.09
18.37
21.55
20.60
19.86
18.83

Total
number
ofem Week
No.

117.........
118.........
119.........
120.........
121.........
122.........
123.........
124.........
125.........
126.........
127.........
128.........
129.........
130.........
131.........
132.........
133.........
134.........
135.........
136.........
137.........
138.........
139.........
140.........
141.........
1 4 2 ......
143.........
144.........
145.........
146.........
147.........
148.........
149.........
150.........
151.........
152.........
153.........
154.........
155.........
156.........
157.........
158.........
159.........

Total number of em ployees,
distributed by color.

and Ne­
gro, W hite.
male
and fe­
male.
12,885
13,359
13,498
14,134
14,672
14,688
14,420
14,519
14,657
14,905
15,040
15,201
15,045
15,533
15,711
15,336
15,249
15,326
15,606
15,247
14,695
15,063
15,481
15,628
15,554
15,181
14,494
14,598
15,530
15,940
16,346
16,730
16,989
17,148
17,222
17,434
15,297
15,353
15,168
15,145
15,155
14,565
13,928

10,395
10,628
11,002
11,200
11,765
11,719
11,717
11,706
11,719
12,064
12,376
12,155
11,951
12, 668'
12,936
12,513
12,215
12,416
12,895
12,312
12,042
11,920
12,666
12,842
12,768
12,194
11,652
11,601
12,352
12,765
13,145
13,568
13,779
13,740
13,851
13,813
12,386
12,325
11,883
11,747
11,851
11,506
11,123

Per
cent.

80.68
79.56
81.51
79.24
80.19
79.79
81.26
80.63
79.95
80.94
82.29
79.96
79.44
81.56
82.34
81.59
80.10
81.01
82.63
80.75
81.95
79.13
81.82
82.17
82.09
80.32
80.39
79.47
79.54
80.08
80.42
81.10
81.11
80.13
80.45
79.23
80.97
80.28
78.34
77.56
78.20
79.00
79.86

Negro.

2,490
2,731
2,496
2,934
2,907
2,969
2,703
2,813
2,938
2,841
2,664
3,046
2,775
2,823
3,034
2,910
2,711
2,935
2,653
3,143
2,815
2,786
2,786
2,987
2,842
2,997
3,178
3,175
3,201
3,162
3,210
3,408
3,371
3,621
2,911
3,028
3,285
3,398
3,304
3,059
2,805

Per
cent.

19.32
20.44
18.49
20.76
19.81
20.21
18.74
19.37
20.05
19.06
17.71
20.04
20.56
18.44
17.66
18.41
19.90
18.99
17.37
19.25
18.05
20.87
18.18
17.83
17.91
19.68
19.61
20.53
20.46
19.92
19.58
18.90
18.89
19.87
19.55
20.77
19.03
19.72
21.66
22.44
21.80
21.00
20.14

56

THE

N E G R O A T W O R K D U R IN G T H E

W ORLD W AR .

The accompanying diagrams show, graphically, the percentage of
distribution by color of the total number of employees of this com­
pany by weeks, from January, 1916, to January, 1919, and the per­
centage of white and colored employees by weeks during this same
perioa.

COM PARATIVE INCREASE IN PERCENTAGE AMONG W HITE AND COLORED EM­
PLOYEES IN ONE M EAT-PACKING PLAN T DURING A PERIO D OP 150 W EEKS.

The third piece of evidence came from a steel company at Indiana
Harbor, Ind., and shows the total number and per cent of white and
colored employees from January, 1918, through December of the same
year. This shows a total, at the beginning of the period, of 2,020
employees, of which 1,736, or 85.94 per cent, were white, and 284, or
14.06 per cent, were colored. A t the close ot the period the firm was
employing a total of 2,171 employees, of which 1,681, or 77.43 per
cent, were white, and 490, or 22.57 per cent, were colored. The
nmnber of colored employees showed a steady increase over the
original number, running as high as 538 in October, 1918, to the
closing number at the end of December, which number showed a
considerable increase in total colored employees and a corresponding
increased percentage of the total number of employees. Other dis­
cussions oi workers in iron and steel have been given in Chapter V I.




THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.




Oi

CHAPTER V m .

NEGRO LABOR IN THE UNITED STATES SHIPYARDS.
The widespread demand for ships to “ beat” the unlawful submarine
warfare of the Germans led the Nation to see that ships were needed
to win the war. The building of ships called for labor of all kinds,
skilled, semiskilled, and unskilled, and those who responded to build
ships were serving the cause no less than thclse who responded for
service in the Army. During the war the Negroes showed their
patriotism in this particular fully as they did in others. In the ship­
yards under the jurisdiction of the United States Shipping Board—
Emergency Fleet Corporation— covering four shipbuilding districts
on the Atlantic coast, one on the Gulf coast, two on the Pacific coast,
and one in the Great Lakes district, there were 24,648 Negroes em­
ployed during the war and 14,075 employed up to September, 19J9,
following the signing o f the armistice. In the southern district during
the war there were 11,991 and for the period after the war 5,504; in
the middle Atlantic district there were 4,506 and 5,223, respectively;
in the Delaware R iver district, 5,165 and 2,230, respectively; in the
northern Atlantic district, 371 and 297, respectively; in the Gulf dis­
trict, 1,830 and 309, respectively; in the southern Pacific district, 582
and 399, respectively; m the northern Pacific district, 176 and 96,
respectively; and in the Great Lakes district, 27 and 17, respectively.
Both the numbers involved and the distribution of the numbers, both
during the war and the months following the signing of the armistice,
give ample evidence that Negroes played a large part in the building
of the snips. Unfortunately, it has not been feasible to secure the
figures o f the white workmen under the United States Shipping
Board for these districts.
W e do have, however, a full record of the occupations in which
Negro workmen were engaged. During the war 4,963, or about 20.7
per cent, were engaged in occupations which may be classed as skilled
occupations, leaving 19,685, or about 80 per cent, in unskilled occu­
pations, some of which could probably be classed as semisKilled occu­
pations. After the war 3,872, or 27.47 per cent, were in skilled occu­
pations and 10,203, or 72.53 per cent, in unskilled occupations, some
of which may bp classed as semiskilled. It is significant that the
largest number of Negroes iri skilled occupations Doth in steel and
wooden ship construction was in the southern district, both during
and after the war. The second largest during the war was in the
Delaware River district and after the war in the middle Atlantic
district.
Negroes participated in 46 of the 55 separate shipbuilding occu­
pations listed during the war period, and in 49 such occupations
after the war. In addition, during the war 21 occupations had less
than 10 Negroes employed and after the war 17 occupations had less
than 10 Negroes employed in them. This leaves 25 occupations
with 10 or more Negroes during the war and 22 occupations with 10
or more Negroes employed after the war.
58




TH E NEGRO AT WORK DURING TH E WORLD W AR.

59

The details are given in full in the accompanying table, but some
illuminating comparisons may be made here. During the war there
were 1,464 Negro carpenters, 225 calkers, 21 chippers and calkers, 631
fasteners, 11 blacksmiths, 102 blacksmiths’ helpers, 36 riggers, 38
riveters, 22 foremen, 240 drillers and reamers, 399 bolters. These
all are important skilled or semiskilled occupations in the building
of ships. A fter the war there were only 74 carpenters, 59 calkers, 36
chippers and calkers, 143 fasteners, 7 blacksmiths, 45 blacksmiths’
helpers, and 191 reamers and drillers. • There were, however, 49 rivet­
ers and 1,116 bolters, these occupations showing increased.
The analysis of these figures indicates that in the more highly
skilled and therefore the more highly paid occupations there has been
a greater decrease in the number o f Negroes in the shipyards than in
the less skilled or semiskilled occupations, but taking the skilled and
semiskilled occupations together, Negro workers held their numbers
and showed less decrease after the war than they did in the unskilled
occupations, altogether, after the war. The total decrease after the
war of Negroes in all skilled or semiskilled occupations was only 20.7
per cent, while the total decrease after the war of Negro workers in
the unskilled occupations was about 48 per cent, or nearly one-half.
W hile these figures show a very decided decrease in the more highly
skilled occupations, on the whole they make a favorable showing for
Negro workmen in the shipbuilding industry, both during and after
the war.
Not only did Negroes enter the skilled and semiskilled occupations
during the war in large numbers but they remained in these occupa­
tions in larger proportions than in the unskilled occupations.
The following table shows in detail the number of Negro employees
working in skilled and unskilled occupations at shipbuilding plants
under the jurisdiction of the United States Shipping Board—Emer­
gency Fleet Corporation— during and after the war in the eight
principal shipyard districts, during 1918 and 1919. The skilled and
semiskilled workers were not classified separately in the available
record. The full details showing number of Negroes employed in the
eight principal shipyard districts in specified occupations during and
after the war are given in the following table:




T a b l e V I .— Negro employees working at plants under the jurisdiction o f the United States Shipping Board— Emergency Fleet Corporation—during and

after the war, % the eight principal shipyard districts, 1918-19.1
n

O

[Columns 1, during the war; columns 2, after the war.]
Middle
Altafitic
district.

Delaware
River
district. *

Northern
Atlantic
district.

Gulf
district.

1

ft

1

1

1

2

1

5,504

4,506

5,223 65,165 62,230

371

297

1,830

3JJ78 3^078
8,413 2,426

117
4,389

114
5,109

258
113

218
79

541
1,289

Kind of Occupation. *

Total number em ployed*.. 11,991
Skilled....................................
Unskilled................................
Back-handlers..............................
Blacksmiths..................................
Blacksm iths' helpers...................
Bolters...........................................
Bolters' learners...........................
Carpenters.....................................
Calkers..........................................
Calkers and chippers....................
Cem enters.....................................
Cleaners.........................................
Cranemen.............: .......................
Dockmen.......................................
Drillers and reamers....................
Engineers......................................
Erectors.........................................
Fasteners.......................................
Firem en........................................
Foremen........................................
Furaacemen.................................
General helpers.............................
Handym en....................................
Heaters..........................................
Hewsers........................................
Holders-on....................................
Hookers-on...................................
Oilm en..........................................
Passers..........................................
Punchers.................................... .
Riggers..........................................




8
11
99
130
1,367
182
17
2
48
37
50
10
13
303
87
22
9
556
200
52
5
88

21
5
44
955
138
64
21
35
29
31
7
36
125
1
12
60
37
10
22
328
297
238
11
220
4

ft

5,165

2

99
2,131

134
22
15

Northern
Pacific
district.

1

2

1

309

582

399

176

96

27

109
200

309
273

171
227

140
36

72
25

20
7

1
166

1
69

5

4

1

1

3

2

i
2

1
1

2

i

2

2
3
35
17

23

5
2

3
2

53

56
1

10
13
1
1
49

98

85
7
10

3

5

43
1

3
4
1

2

i3
26
3

1
28

41

6

1

316
27

69
8

8
2

*21
2

.

. 1
46

2

3
1
72

Great
Lakes
district.

-

Grand
total.

2

1

2
1

Total.«

1

2

17

24,648

14,075

38,723

11
6

4,963
19,685

3,872
10,203

8 835
29*888

8
11
102
399

21
7
45
1,116
138
74
60
36
29
57
10
36
191
1
15
143
60
11
23
538
303
249
11
247
13
21
147
22
20

29
18
147
1,515
138
1,538
285
57
32
132
58
73
431
13
28
774
176
33
32
1,282
507
318
16
362
13
54
213
33
56

21
1

i

8

7

22

140
3

7

15
2

54
11
23

Southern
Pacific
district.

13
8

9

3

10

4

126
1

63
2

4
i9*
2

1

6

8

33
6

9

i

3

3
i

i 464
225
21
3
75
48
37
240
12
13
631
116
22
9
744
204
69
5
115
33
66
11
36

THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

Southern
district.

RfvAtflrs
fifAgA huildors
construction

..............
...
- - -

A ll othftr oorMipations.................

25

17

23

7

38
13
150

3

70

19

10
4

09

150

17

13

* 14

9

9

9
1

2

1

99

70

137
13
220

43

59

102




THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR,

i This table has been reconstructed from a previous table prepared by the U. S. Shipping Board.
* Includes both wood and steel ship occupations.
* Includes agencies not directly in the Delaware River district, but under its jurisdiction.
<The figures against this item include cverv kind of occupation in which Negroes were employed, as reported by*the United States Shipping Board,and should not be pre­
sumed to be the totals for the kinds of occupations listed i n the first column, which include only such representative occupations as are deemed of particular significance, and,
therefore, of practicable value for tabulation.
• During the war Delaware River district workers were not classified by occupations, but after the war agency workers of this district were classified*
• Itemized totals are for skilled workers only.

a

62

THE

NEGRO A T W O R K D U R IN G T H E

W ORLD W A R .

RECORD-BREAKING N EGRO W O RKERS.

How a Negro pile-driver gained the world’s pile-driving record is
told, partially in nis own language, as follows:
w o r l d ’s

PILE-DRIVING RECORD SMASHED.

Edward Burvvell, the Negro pile-driving captain whose Negro
crew of 11 men broke the world’s record in driving piles on ship­
way No. 46 (Philadelphia, Pa.), was asked how he came to break the
standing record. Burwell smiled and pointed to a placard nailed on
the pile-driving machine. The placard read: “ If at first you don’ t
succeed, try, try, again.”
The record prior to Burwell’s wonderful drive was 165 piles in 9
hours. Burwell and his crew drove 220 65-foot piles in 9 hours and 5
minutes, and a good part of the time the crew worked in a terrific
downpour of rain. Since coming on the job in January, 19IS, Burwell’s crew has driven 4,141 piles with a total of 241,575 linear feet.
The crew under Burwell is employed by the Arthur McMullen Co.
This company had the contract to drive 21,434 piles. Burwell and
his crew drove about 20 per cent of this number.
“ I went into the pile-driving business 15 years ago,” Burwell said in
speaking of his new record. “ I was never on a job as large as this one
before. It was due to rivalry between another Negro foreman and
myself that I made up my mind to go after the record of 165 piles held
by another company.
“ The sign filled our crew with enthusiasm. We decided, one night,
that a new world’s record would be made on the morrow, and it was.
Of course, we had our little mechanical troubles, and instead of fretting
and fuming, the men just glanced at the sign and started in with re­
newed vigor and the record was smashed.”
Capt. Burwell then produced the log of the crew on the daj~ the
world’s record was made. It is rather interesting reading and is
printed below:
Piles driven.

7 a. m. to 8 a. m ............................................................................................ 27
8 a. m. to 9 a. m ................................................... ........... - .......................... 23
(Delay 4J minutes due to broken steam line; raining very hard
from 8.15 to 10 a. m .)
9 a. m. to 10 a. m ............................................................................ ............. 28
10 a. m. to 11 a. m ....................................................................................... 22
(Delay 8 minutes due to pile fall breaking.»
11 a. m. to 12 a. ........................................................................................... 27
12 noon to 12.30 p. m. (lunch).
12.30 p. m. to 1.30 p. m ................................. ............................................ 25
(Heavy rain with electric showers from 1.25 to 2.50 p. m., and from
1.25‘to 1.40 p. m. air pressure dropped considerably, which held
up hammer.)
1.30 p. m. to 2.30 p. m ................................................................................ 23
2.30 p. m. to 3.30 p. m ................................................................................. 23
3.30 p. m. to 4.35 p. m ................................................................................. 22
Total, 9 hours and 5 minutes............................................................ 220
N o t e .— Total linear feet of piles, 14,260.

hours and 15 minutes.




Previous world’s record, 165 piles iu. 9

TH E NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

63

Of no less interest is the performance of a gang of Negro riveters
working at Sparrows Point, Md., in the plant of the Bethlehem Steel
Corporation, in breaking the world’s record for driving rivets. One
of the gang, Charles Knight, drove 4,875 three-quarter-inch rivets in a
9-hour day. The previous highest record was 4,442, made by a
workman in a Scottish shipyard. Mr. Knight is a highly respectable
and industrious citizen of Baltimore, Md., and a native of Virginia.




CHAPTER IX.
REPORT OF WORK IN FLORIDA AND GEORGIA.
FLORIDA.

On July 16, 1918, Hon. Sidney J. Catts, governor of Florida, called
together representatives of Negro citizens from all parts of the State at
Jacksonville, who, with about 15 of Florida’s most representative white
employers, met for a day’s conference on the labor situation in the
State. After a thorough discussion the governor authorized the con­
ference to work out plans with the representatives of the Depart­
ment of Labor for the organization of the State, county, and city
Negro workers’ advisory committees. The governor, as chairman
of the State council of defense, accepted the honorary chairmanship
of the committee, and with the executive secretary of the council a
plan was worked out so that the colored members appointed on the
Negro workers’ advisory committees had white members from the
county councils of defense to act on these committees as cooperating
members. In this way, in a short time there were developed these
cooperative relationships between white and colored representatives
through the Negro workers’ advisory committees in 26 counties in
the State, including the important city centers such as Jacksonville,
Tampa, Miami, ana Pensacola.
The following letters show the spirit and action of the council of
defense, the governor, and other interested parties:
St a t e o p F l o r id a ,
E x e c u t iv e C h a m b e r ,

Tallahassee, July 31. 1918.

Dr. G e o . E. H a y n e s ,
Department o f Labor, Washington, D . C.
D e a r S i r : I have your letter inclosing list of colored citizens nominated at a con­

ference held in Jacksonville, and also copy of their constitution.
I thank you for the same and will give it my attention. I am willing to cooperate
with your race in every way possible.
With best wishes, I am
Yours, very truly,
(Signed)
S i d n e y J. C a t t s , Governor .
S t a t e C o u n c il o f D e f e n s e .

Tallahassee, F la., October :9 . 1918.

Dr. G e o . E. H a y n e s ,

Director o f Negro Economics , Washington, D . C.

D e a r S i r : Yours of the 21st instant, addressed to his excellency Gov. Sidney J.

Catts, relative to the work of your advisory committee, together with your request for
the cooperation of county councils of defense has been referred to me for reply.
Replying, beg to advise that at the meeting of our advisory committee October 25,
inst., this matter was brought before the committee, and it was agreed to give your
committee the assistance in the capacity requested.
Yours, very truly,

(S ed
ign )

64




H . S. H o w a r d ,

Executive Secretary ,

THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

65

Following the State conference and the appointment of the State
Negro workers’ advisory committee, upon the recommendation of a
number of wliite and colored citizens, W. A. Armwood, of Tampa.
Fla., a graduate of the State college, who had been a successful
carpenter and contractor and at that time was principal of the
colored public school at Tampa and successfully conducting a
drug business of his own, was chosen as supervisor of Negro economics
for Florida. He had known many workmen in all parts of the State
and very soon was in touch with them in various districts. It was
due to his untiring effort that many of the activities of the State
were developed.
One of the first steps taken following the organization of commit­
tees was to give Negro workers wholesome advice about the necessity
of continued and systematic work during the period of the war for
the production of such commodities as were necessary to win it. Two
methods were used for such advice: First, circular letters and bulle­
tins were sent out to the members of the county and city committees
touching upon various points for stimulating the morale and effi­
ciency of workers in the different localities of the State. Second,
a series of mass meetings of white and colored citizens was planned
and carried out in the early fall, following the conference. The Di­
rector of Negro Economics was present at a number of these meetings
and both white and colored citizens attended in large numbers.
There were usually white and colored speakers before the audience
on the same platform.
One significant service rendered by the State Negro workers’
advisory committee was to correct a misapprehension and feeling
that was growing due to the spread of rumor among employers that
Negro women workers in large numbers were receiving governmental
allotments from male relatives in the Army and were taking advan­
tage of this money to refuse to engage in any useful occupation.
The committee made a careful State-wide investigation of the facts
and found that the rumor was groundless. ‘Wide publicity was
given to the actual facts of the patriotic work being done by colored
women throughout the State, and this served to allay feeling and
friction.
Following is a summary of the other work carried out by the com­
mittee:
1. Educational campaigns were carried out in the 26 counties,
in various cities of the State, at mass meetings and at tbe regular
gatherings of Negro churches, lodges, and other organizations to
inform Negro workers of the necessity of steady and reliable service
to keep up production for winning the war. to promote prosperity,
and to improve the relations between the races.
2. Cooperation was given to the United States Employment Serv­
ice in the securing and placement of thousands of Negro workers and
in the placement of returning soldiers.
3. Misunderstandings were adjusted through advisory conferences
of employers and employees and county officials. This work was
earriecl oh in the case o f both individual workers and employers as
well as organizations, and in this way the stoppage of work was pre­
vented.
1989°— 21---- -5




66

THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

4. By conferences with State and county officials and cooperation
with the State council of defense, local officials were induced to use
the good offices of the Negro workers' advisory committees in per­
suading Negro workers to work steadily and with enthusiasm. This
method was found more effective than the application of compulsory
labor regulations advocated by many.
5. Working conditions were improved in many plants voluntarily
by employers after conferences and suggestions either from the
Supervisor of Negro Economics or from members of the advisory
committees. In most cases these conferences were sought in the
first instance by the employers.
6. The health conditions of Negro workers were improved through
the advice to both employers and workers on methods of protecting
their health. Advertising material and literature along these lines
were given out.
7. Besides the cooperation of the State council of defense and the
governor of the State, as shown by the preceding correspondence,
the following organizations and agencies gave full support to the
work in the State: State Agricultural and Mechanical College for
Negroes; State Federation of Colored Women's Clubs; local organ­
izations of the Negro National Business League; local lodges; and
churches of the several denominations.
GEORGIA.

On August 9, 1918, a conference of about 75 representative colored
men met in Atlanta, Ga., in response to an official invitation issued by
Hon. Hugh M. Dorsey, governor of the State, that they assemble to
confer with representatives of the Department of Labor and of the
State commission of labor on matters relating to Negro labor. After
an all-day session, Judge Price Gilbert, of the Supreme Court and
of the State council of defense, met the conference representing the
governor and the council of defense. In the course of an interesting
all-day session going over the situation of the State and the plans of
the Department of Labor, the conference recommended and adopted
an outline of an organization of the State, county, and city Negro
workers' advisory committees along lines of those set up in other
States. The report adopted by the special committee contained
the following recommendations:
We, your committee on plans and work, beg leave to render the following report:
First, we recommend that a chairman be designated for each county by this body
and that said chairman appoint a committee of nine from different sections of said
county to work with him in coordinating the work of his county.
Second, that a series of public meetings be held in prominent places, such as churches,
lodge rooms, etc., in said counties, under the supervision of said committees and that
said committees be requested to invite some of the leading white citizens of their
respective communities to participate in said meetings.
Third, we recommend plans for labor demonstrations and parades to be made for
January 1, 1919.
Fourth, that said county committee get in touch with a number of open minded,
patriotic white citizens in their respective communities to the end that through them
the general public may be informed about the doings of the State Negro workers’
advisory committee.
Fifth, as a means of recruiting labor in the various communities in our State, we
recommend ( 1 ) that laborers be guaranteed protection as citizens; (2 ) that better
housing and saoiitation conditions be provided; (3) ample school facilities with compe­




THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

67

tent and well-paid teachers; (4) pay commensurate with services rendered for laborers;
(5) better transportation and equal accommodations on the railroads; in short, make
labor satisfied and labor will remain.
Respectfully,
E. P. J ohnson,
G. B. B urney
H. A. R ucker,
H. R. B utler,
J. P. D avis ,
J. Q. G asset,
E. J. T urner,
Mrs. L ondie A ndrews.
C. E’. Williams.

After the meeting of the State Conference of Georgia, Prof. H. A.
Hunt, principal of the Fort Valley High and Industrial School, was
appointed as supervisor of Negro economics of the State. Associated
with him as examiner in the United States Employment Service for
activity over the State was Mr. Rufus P. Bennett, who assisted the
Federal Director of the United States Employment Service and
Prof. Hunt in many of the difficult problems relating mainly to
agricultural labor in this large State.




CHAPTER X .

REPORT OF WORK IN ILLINOIS.
In the early development of the plans of the department for the
Division of Negro Economics it seemed feasible that one man should
advise on policies and plans for one district comprising Michigan and
Illinois. As the work developed this district was divided into the
two States, Michigan and Illinois.

At the beginning in June, 1918, Mr. Forrester B. Washington, of
Detroit, Mich., was appointed as supervisor of Negro economics in
the district comprising Michigan and Illinois. It had been estimated
by the department that about 30,000 Negro migrants had moved into
Detroit and that probably 50,000 had come into the Chicago district
within the period during 1917 and 1918. Mr. Washington, trained
at Tufts College and the New York School of Philanthropy, had had
three years' experience and unusual success as executive secretary of
the Detroit Urban League in cooperation with the Employers' Asso­
ciation of Detroit in handling the industrial problems growing’ out of
the influx of the thousands of Negro newcomers.
During July and August, he very successfully dealt with these
problems of his district, which centered mainly at Detroit and Chi­
cago. About September 1, Michigan and Illinois were made sepa­
rate districts and Mr. Washington was transferred to Chicago and
began the intensive development of the work in Illinois. He began
with a study of the communities of the State where large numbers of
Negroes resided and arranged for a State conference, which was held
Monday, September 30, 1918, at Springfield, in the old historic San­
gamon County courthouse, so well known in relation to the revered
memory of Abraham Lincoln. Delegates representino; Negro work­
ers, wmte emplovers, and white workers were present from 14 points
in the State. Tbey spent a day in discussing general conditions and
adopted the form of organization of a State advisory committee with
local committees. In the weeks that followed the conference, Negro
workers' advisory committees were formed in 17 counties and 9 cities
throughout the State to deal with the many delicate and difficult
labor problems. Some of the results of the activity under the super­
vision of Mr. Washington are outlined in the following pages.
During sessions oi the conference several committees were ap­
pointed and made reports, among them the committee on general
conditions, which gave such a concrete review of the relationships
between Negro workers and white workers and white employers that
a greater part of the report is included as follows:
We, your committee on general conditions as to labor and general war work relating
to Negroes in the State of Illinois, beg leave to submit the following report:
First. We find that the city of Chicago is the greatest center of Negro influx on
account of the conditions produced by the war of any community in the State of
Illinois; and that the cities of East St. Louis, Cairo, Springfield, and Peoria follow
in their order. The city of Decatur does not have the same condition as does the
cities above named, neither does the city of Danville, nor Quincy, as they are gov-




THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

69

emed in some degree by local conditions which have to do with only their own par­
ticular vicinities.
We find that in the mining districts in southern Illinois, composing the counties of
St. Clair, Perry, Jackson, Franklin, and Williamson and adjacent counties, the con­
ditions of the colored miners as to housing and economic conditions are on par with
those of the white miners. In fact, all mining districts of the State are guided b y the
miners’ union, and the purpose of the leaders of the miners, and of the mine owners as
well in those districts, seems to have been directed to the task of winning the war by
doing and giving effective service and everv effort has been lent to neutralizing the
opposing forces that both white and colored workers may understand and help each
other and in this way work for a common purpose.
OTHER LABOR.

In Chicago, at the stockyards, we find that conditions are much improved and
better relations created b y organization. The colored men and workers and the
white brother in toil have been brought together.
In the other parts of Illinois we find that the Negro as a laborer is not understood.
The white men have been led to believe that the Negro was his common industrial
enemy and as a result some very grave disturbances have taken place, such as the
recent one a t East St, Louis.
In many instances ill feelings have resulted in the employers suffering from short­
ages of effective workers and the propagandists of German connection have, no doubt,
seized upon this spirit of unrest to further their wicked ends and many instances of
this spirit have fallen within the knowledge of some of the members of your committee.
Some employers have misunderstood, in that they had been led to believe that Negroes
Were not faithful nor yet effective workers, but that notion has been pushed into the
discard and now, thanks to the work of the Department of Labor ana the leaders of
the various organizations having these matters at heart, Negroes are entering all the
avenues of endeavor.
Some of the cities above mentioned are not cursed with the bad conditions above
complained of. We are pleased to refer to the city of Decatur as a city where the best
of relations exist between white and colored people and in the large factories of that
city. They work side b y side in harmony, and general helpfulness results from that
condition.
In the capital city of Illinois (Springfield) for many years colored workers have not
been given employment in many of the factories; but, owing to conditions brought
about by the war, a sign of betterment is seen. Now some of the steam laundries are
finding colored workers a decided success. A watch factory has increased its quota of
colored workers, but we find that in many of the factories the closed door stands be­
tween the colored worker and employment. Your committee is driven to the con­
clusion that in many instances the lack of efficiency on the part of the workers who
apply, the lack of attention to duty, the lack of'thrift and energetic effort is proving
the undoing of the colored workers.
RESUME.

We recommend that steps be taken to educate both the colored and white toiler to
the fact that the interest of both the white and colored toiler and of their employers
as well is finally centralized only in the finished products of their toil when it is ready
for the markets of the world. We further recommend that an effort be made to bring
the Negro workers of the country into a closer relationship with the employers of
labor o f the State of Illinois and at the same time with the various labor organizations
of this State in order that the interests of all parties, namely, white workers, colored
workers, and employers of labor, and the trade-union as a medium of conciliation and
arbitration, may all be conserved, remembering at all times that the supreme and
centralizing efforts of every American citizen should be, and is, winning the war.
Respectfully submitted by your committee.
G eo . W . F ord, Ohairrnan.




H ugh Singleton.
J. B. Osby . .
G eo . W . B uckner.
A. K . Foote.
Chas. S. Gibbs .

70

THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

The situation in southwestern Illinois, particularly the East St.
Louis situation, was so vital with the whole question of Negro labor
and war production in this territory that the department soon found
it necessary to have the supervisor of Negro economics give attention
to St. Louis and to territory in the State of Missouri in further work
to adjust relations of Negro workers and white workers. Accordingly,
at the request of the Federal director for Missouri of the United States
Employment Service, the department called a conference of Negro
workers, white employers, and white workers, which was held at St.
Louis, Mo., December 18, 1918. An interesting incident in connec­
tion with this conference was that it was held in the Poro Building,
a new structure just completed by a Negro corporation of unusual
success. The conference was attended by select delegates from
about 12 centers throughout the State and its significance is shown
by the program of work attached.
PROGRAM OP WORK ADOPTED BY THE MISSOURI CONFERENCE ON PROBLEMS OF NEGRO
L A B O R , D E C E M B E R 18, 1918.

1 . Race relations.

a.

This committee should take steps to get white and colored labor together in
order to better understand the ideals and ambitions of each.
1 . Negro labor leaders shall be urged to teach their people that their
interests are common with those of white labor.
2 . White labor leaders shall be urged to teach their people that their
interests are common with those of colored labor and also instruct
them regarding the high standard of living of Negroes.
2 . Release of Negro labor.
а. Steps should be taken to prevent wholesale discharge of Negroes in order not
to cause race friction.
1. Visits should be made by representatives of the local committee to
factories where they seem to be discharging Negroes wholesale.
2. Visits should be made by representatives of the committee to factories
where large numbers of Negroes are employed, urging that the latter
be discharged only in the same proportion and for the same reason that
employees of other races are discharged.
3. Housing.
' a. This committee should make plans to house returning colored soldiers.
1 . B y establishing a room registry for colored soldiers in the various
communities.
2. The Government shall be urged to grant land to those returning colored
soldiers who desire to settle in the agricultural districts.
б . The local committee will urge employers that they provide their colored
employees with housing that is sanitary.
4 . Make plans to create openings for Negroes.
а. B y investigating every public construction program and ascertaining 'whether
or not Negroes are to be used.
б . B y encouraging Negroes to go into business for themselves.
5. Distribution of labor.
a. Prevent unequal distribution of Negroes through exchange of information re
shortage or surplus of colored labor by committeemen from various localities.
b. Cooperate with the nearest United States Employment Service office.
6 . Act as agency representing the Negro in soldiers’ bureaus—about to be established
b y the United States Government.
7 .. Cooperation of agencies.
This committee shall seek to develop cooperation in the carrying out of its program
from—
a. Labor union.
b. Philanthropic agencies.
c. Churches.
d. Lodges.
e. Employers’ organizations.




THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAE.

71

8 . Education.

а. Negro.
. 1 . Shop talks on efficiency.
2 . Lectures in colored churches and fraternal organizations on efficiency.
3. Neighborhood visits on better living.
4. Special attention shall be paid to the encouragement of thrift.
б . White employer.
1 . Employers should be furnished with information re Negro’s efficiency.

It may be added that local committees were set up in this State in
only four places, as the restriction of activities developed in this
direction commenced a few weeks after this conference. It should be
added, however, that Missouri offers in many places one of the most
important fields where Negro labor may be more efficient and where
there is a necessity for developing better understanding between
white workers, white employers, and Negro workers. A large part
of the unskilled labor in the industrial districts in St. Louis and some
mining and coal districts make this matter of interest to all, both
employees and employers in this city.
The supervisor of Negro ecomomics for Illinois, following the State
conference at Springfield, quickly lined up his work with the private
agencies and organizations in various parts of the State. Conse­
quently each city and county Negro workers’ advisory committee
was able to bring to its assistance the cooperation of many white and
colored citizens; so that despite subsequent racial disturbances in Chi­
cago it may justly be said that much friction, both in Chicago and
elsewhere, was removed by this cordial effort of advisory committees
and local organizations. In fact, in three places— one of them East
St. Louis— acute racial situations were met and adjusted through
this means. One of the first pieces of- work was to ascertain the
firms employing colored workers, so as to give some substantial idea
of the extent to which they were employed. The list included some
of the largest firms in Illinois, the number of firms in each locality
being as follows:
A bin gdon ----- - A lton ..................
Aurora................
Batavia..............
Bloomington—
Cairo...................
Canton................
Herrin..........
Chicago..............
Chicago Heights
D anville.............
Decatur..............
D ixon .................
East Moline.......
East St. Louis.*.
Freeport-----Granite City—
St. Louis............
Hammond------ v
H arvey...............
West H a r v e y .. .

2 Indiana Harbor.
2 Madison..........

1

Hoopston. . . . . .

1

1
1
1

M oline................

4

1 Morris.................
6 M urphysboro...

1
1
89
5

2

1
1

2

12
4
3

2

1
6

1

Onarga................
P a ris ..................
Peoria.................
Q uincy...............
R och elle.............
R ock Islan d___
Rockford...........
R ockdale...........
Granite C ity ___
East St. L o u is ..
Springfield.........
Sycamore...........
Waukegan..........
North Chicago..

1
1

1
1
6
4

1
3

8

1
1
1
1
1

2

1

The tables and discussion found elsewhere— giving experience of
Negro workers in industrial plants, showing wages, conditions, and
other pertinent facts— include some of these firms in Illinois.



72

THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

Of particular significance was the work in Illinois of assisting in the
placement in civilian occupations the returning Negro soldiers and
sailors. General cooperation in Illinois in the matter of caring for
these returning men was well organized. Such organizations as the
Red Cross, the Y. M. C. A., the Knights of Columbus, the Jewish
Welfare Board, the Chicago Urban League, and many other agencies
cooperated effectively ana closely with the United States Employ­
ment Service, the supervisor of Negro economics, and the State
employment office. The State employment service and the United
States Employment Service, immediately following the signing of the
armistice, adopted the plans of the Federal service for meeting needs
of the returning soldiers by the establishment of placement bureaus
with the cooperation of private organizations, some of which are
named above. In addition to the returning soldiers, many workers
had been released from war industries. This complicated the labor
situation in Chicago and other points in Illinois in the months follow­
ing the signing of the armistice, and required the most delicate
handling in the most sympathetic manner. With the hearty coopera­
tion of the Washington office the plans went forward rapidly, and
the work was undertaken in the placement of the 10,000 Negro
soldiers who returned to Chicago. In addition to the central office,
a special bureau was opened on the South Side of Chicago, in the
main district containing large numbers of Negro residents in profes­
sions and profitable enterprises.
In conducting this .special office, however, no restriction was made
limiting it to the use (it colored soldiers. Its sole purpose was to put
the placement facilities within the easiest reach of those whom it was
designed to serve. An appeal letter signed by a central committee
representing a number o f welfare agencies and the Federal Govern­
ment was sent to over 5,000 employers in Chicago urgingespecially
that they give attention to employment of members of tne Eignth Illi­
nois Regiment just returned from service overseas. This letter was
approved by the State Advisory Board of the Employment Service,
the executive committee of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Bureau, and the
Federal director, United States Employment Service. In addition, a
sort of flying squadron of returning soldiers in uniform was sent
throughout the city to solicit opportunities for these men. The suc­
cess of this effort as a part of the general response may be judged from
the fact that, although there was rather an acute unemployment
situation in Chicago at the time, it was not many weeks before the
situation had been cleared up and the supervisor reported that it was
possible to say that a job could be found for every man that really
wanted work. As an example of the activities in the placement of
returning Negro soldiers, the following figures for one week are given:
Attendance, 468; registrations, 198; nelp wanted, 152; referred, 156;
reported placed, 114; transferred, 26.
Although the following figures were included in the report of the
United States Employment Service the following report of the South
Side office during the month of May, 1918, is given, as it had more
placements than any other office in Chicago for that month:
M e n .—Attendance, 1,430; registration, 795; help wanted, 824;
referred, 637; reported placed, 570; transferred, 3.

In all this work special mention should fye made of the assistance
given by private organizations, especially the Chicago Urban League,



THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

IS

which maintained an employment office in cooperation with the
United States Employment Service and the State employment service
throughout the period of the United States Employment Service work
in the city of Chicago.
One of the special forms of the work in Illinois was to assist in the
improvement of depressing housing conditions in the State. When
the plans of the United States Homes Registration Service had devel­
oped to the point that a field worker was needed in this territory, the
supervisor oi Negro economics canvassed urban localities in Illinois.
Chicago, East St. Louis, Springfield, Quincy, Alton, Cairo, Peoria,
Bloomington, Centralia, Decatur, Danville, Jacksonville, and Mon­
mouth were covered by the Negro workers' advisory committees at.
each point. Through the assistance of these committees, the field
agent of the Homes Registration Service and the Illinois supervisor
oi Negro economics formulated plans for a campaign on housing.
These plans suffered curtailment due to a change in plans of the hous­
ing bureau.
As a means of developing stability of labor and thrift among
Negro workers, a study was made of cooperative store enter­
prises, and the laws governing same. Thereafter plans of organiza­
tion were outlined giving details as to incorporation, stock values, share
and loan of capital, stock holders' meetings, duties of boards of direc­
tors, management, buying of goods, bookkeeping auditing of accounts,
dividends and surplus earnings, and similar details. The results of
thiastudy were issued in mimeographed form and put into the hands of
Negro workers' advisory committeemen for State-wide .distribution.
So valuable does this outline seem that it is given in full as follows:
116 N orth D earborn Street ,
Chicago, 111., June 17, 1919.
[From the supervisor of Negro economics in Illinois to the Negro Workers Advisory Committee on the
subject of cooperative stores.]

One of the lines along which the Director of Negro Economics is laying great em­
phasis is that of the development of business enterprises among our people. Because
of the small number of Negroes who handle any large amount of capital the most suc­
cessful business enterprises among colored people must necessarily be cooperative.
I am sending you to-day a brief outline of the method of starting and carrying on a
cooperative store.
Cooperative stores have been very successful in a great many places in this country
and enormously successful in Europe.
Already a cooperative store conducted b y Negroes is on foot in Illinois. It is being
promoted b y the members of Butcher Workmen’s Local 651 of Chicago.
It seems to me that there are enough colored people in your community to support
such a store.
Too mucn of the money that is being earned by the colored group at present remains
in their hands only for a short time; then goes to the hands of others, usually foreign
bom of short residence in this country.
A cooperative store planned and carried on b y Negroes w ill mean that a large portion
of the money earned b y Negroes w ill be kept within the group.
Further information can be obtained b y writing to the Supervisor of Negro Econo­
mics in Illinois or to the Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C., for Bulletin
394 On cooperative stores, price 10 cents, or to Mr. Dxincan McDonald, secretarytreasurer, Central States Cooperative Society, Springfield, 111-, who has issued some
very interesting pamphlets on this subject at a small cost of not over 5 cents.
Very truly, yours,
F orrester B. W ashington ,
Supervisor o f Negro Economics in Illin ois.




74

TH E NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.
H O W TO ESTABLISH AND CONDUCT A COOPERATIVE STORE.

How to start.—A store should not be started unless at least 100 members can be
secured.
If sufficient interest is displayed, call a meeting to select a committee of five or seven
to solicit subscribers, but accept no money until you have amount pledged sufficient
to insure success.
Amount and value o f stock.—According to the laws of Illinois no person can own and
control more than five shares of the capital stock of such association. The shares of
stock shall be not less than five dollars nor more than one hundred dollars a share.
On account of the prevailing high prices, it has been found advisable to make the
shares of stock not less than $10 a share. Not less than 50 per cent of the amount sub­
scribed should be paid in at the time the organization of the store is completed.
Details.—As soon as a sufficient amount has been subscribed (not less than $2,500)
call a meeting of all the subscribers and have them elect a board of directors for differ­
ent periods of time, so that at least some w ill hold over. Do not elect anyone simply
because he is a good fellow. Require whoever handles the funds to furnish a good
bond.
No member should be allowed more than one vote, no matter what his shares or
purchases.
Share and loan capital.— If a sufficient amount of share capital is not purchased, a
store may secure loan capital from members interested in the success of the institution,
whose share capital is paid in full, or the accumulated profits or earnings, usually called
dividends to help finance the store after the share capital subscribed if fully paid.
Meeting o f stockholders.— A meeting of stockholders should be held every three
months. Special meetings may be called b y the board of directors or b y petition of
the members.
Duties o f hoard o f directors.— The board of directors should meet once a week, pass
upon and pay all bills, if correct, receive the report of the manager, and transact
such otherbusiness that comes within their scope.
Location.— A good location is essential to success. A good building, not necessarily
large, but in a.good location, is much to be preferred, even at a higher rental.
Business management.— Stores should be conducted on a cash basis. Extending
credit will ruin a store and the necessity of cash business should be impressed on the
minds of all members.
Managers.— Next to the loyalty of the members, a good competent manager, an
honest man, is the most important asset to a store. A technical education is not neces­
sary, but a knowledge of business cooperation is. The manager should be given a
great deal of discretion in the general supervision of the store. lie should turn over
to the treasurer or other authorized officer, at the close of each day’s business, the
day’s receipts and a statement showing the amount of business for that day.
Em ployees.—So far as possible no immediate relative of the manager or a member
of the board of directors should be employed in any capacity, as it creates jealousy
and bad feeling.
Managers and clerks should be paid good wages as an incentive to do good work.
Buying a stock o f goods.— Do not allow anyone to load your store up with an immense
stock of goods that can not be turned over readily, as they will become shopworn and
have to be sold later on at a loss. Goods should be turned over as often as possible,
as the turnover is an essentially important feature in making money. All bills should
be discounted and paid promptly. By no means should prices be cut and no man­
ager should be allowed to undersell the surrounding stores. To do so invites trouble
not only with your competitors, but wholesale houses as well.
Bookkeeping.— Lack of a good bookkeeping system has been the rock upon which
many a cooperative store has been wrecked.
Banking.—All money taken in should be banked every day except the small amount
that is kept on hand to take care of the cash business. All goods bought should be
paid for b y check. Care should be exercised not to have an overdraft at the bank.
Incorporation.—A ll stores should incorporate as a matter of protection.
Auditing accounts.— One of the most important features of a successful cooperative
enterprise is a correct auditing system. The books and accounts of every store should
be audited very carefully every three months, and wherever possible by an expert
accountant.
Dividends.— Dividends in a cooperative store are paid, not on the investment as in
a privately owned concern, but on the amount of purchases made by the shareholder.
A t quarterly or semiannual periods, as may be determined on, a complete invoice
should be taken, the profits ascertained, and after setting aside a substantial amount
for a reserve fund (anywhere from 25 to 50 per cent of the profits) the balance should




TH E NEGRO AT WORK DURING TH E/W O RLD WAR.

IB

be paid in dividends on the basis of purchases during the period, or credited to them
on their account,
Surplus earnings.— The term 1 dividends ” as herein used is merely the accumulated
1
savings or the surplus earnings of each member, which the society is under obligations
to repay to the individual at a future date and should be distinguished from dividends
as applied in the usual commercial transaction and in the future the cooperative
movement should use the term “ surplus earnings” instead of “ dividends.”
' Further information.— Further information concerning the establishment and main­
tenance of cooperative stores can be obtained by writing to the Supervisor of Negro
Economics for Illinois, 116 North Dearborn-Street, Chicago, or to the Department of
Agriculture, Washington, D. C., for Bulletin 394 on Cooperative Stores, pn ce 10 cents,
or to Duncan McDonald, secretary-treasurer, Central States Cooperative Society,
Springfield, 111,, who has issued a very interesting pamphlet on tne subject, price
5 cents Butcher Workmen’s Local 651, 4300 State Street, Chicago, has launched a
cooperative store with all colored officers. They would be glad to give you the benefit
of their experiences.

Although there were a number of activities in the State, the depart­
ment was kept fully informed as ^ racial feeling in various localities
fco
in the State. Preceding the Chicago riots in July, 1919, regular
information had been received through official channels concerning
existing conditions. The riots brought sharply to the attention of
the country an acute racial situation, the intensity of which had long
been observed as developing in this district. Prior to July there had
been sporadic clashes in one or two Illinois localities and the State
supervisor had officially reported these outbursts. The Chicago
Pace Commission, as an outcome 6f this disturbance, gives strong
promise of some constructive effort for preventing such difficulties
in the future.
We m ay/then, summarize the activities ahd results in Illinois as
follows:
1. Conferences.— State conferences in Illinois and Missouri resulting in exchange
of facts and better understanding between representatives of Negro workers, white
workers and white employers from a number of localities in the State, and the adoption
of a plan of organization and program of work b y means of which definite activities
were undertaken throughout the territory. These activities resulted in better under­
standing and adjustment of relations between these three labor interests.
2. (a) Surveys and information on Negro labor conditions.— Surveys were made of
500 firms employing 50 or more Negroes, showing that approximately over 50 per
cent reported their intention for retaining Negro help. T h e remaining 50 per cent
were noncommittal; (b) The reports from 14 chairmen during the period of activity
in Illinois, June, 1918, to July 1,1919, indicated a growing scarcity of jobs for Negroes,
with conditions most acute in Chicago.
3. Board o f managements.— Constant advice and counsel were given to the United
States Employment Service and the State employment service, and assistance was
given to the board of management of the Soldiers and Sailors’ Bureau and its branches.
4. Publicity.-^(a) Fifteen articles in daily newspapers of Illinois for the purpose
of stimulating interest in and employment of Negro workers; (b) 14 special articles
for Negro press; (c) 10 addresses in public meetings; (d) magazine discussions of
unemployment situation among colored women.
5. Placem ents.— Besides from the usual hundreds of placements shown in work of
offices, a number of special opportunities were secured for specially qualified Negroes.
These are cited on account of the usual difficulty in such instances.
6 . Volunteer w ork.-^ a) One thousand solicitations of firms over the telephone in
the interest of returning colored soldiers; (b) 5,000 appeal letters to Chicago employ­
ers, 3 personal visits to Chicago employers; (c) organization and direction of “ flying
squadron ” of returned soldiers to solicit positions for comrades.
7. Returning colored soldiers.— (a) Formation of board of management; (b) appoint­
ment of special solicitor; (c) shop addresses to a total of 17,000 Chicago employees on
’ fair play in jobs for returning soldiers.
8 . Special investigations.-/-(a) There were three special investigations involving
unions, race relations, and discrimination matters; (b) investigation of industrial oppor­
tunities offered in other States, especially the soutnem States.




76

THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

9. Special conferences.— (a) President Chicago Federation of Labor; (b) men of pub­
lic works in Chicago; (c) State Advisory Board. United States Department of Labor,
executive committee Soldiers’ Bureau, Assistant Federal Director United States
Employment Service, superintendent Soldiers and Sailors’ Bureau, chairman of
board of management, representatives of churches, lodges, women’s organizations.
10. Cooperation .— Cooperation was had through the supervisor of Negro economics
and through local Negro workers’ advisory committees with the following organiza­
tions: Y . M. C. A ., Y . W. C. A., Chicago Urban League, Federation of Colored Wom­
en’ s Clubs, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, American
Federation of Labor, Chambers of Commerce, mayor of Cairo, aldermen of Chicago,
superintendent of public schools, Springfield; city attorney of Cairo. State auditor
of Jacksonville, and many other organizations and public officials.
11. Miscellaneous.— (a) Addresses to colored workers in industrial plants, empha­
sizing regularity, punctuality, and efficiency, etc.; (6) opportunities for colored col­
lege women; (c) opportunities for colored women in domestic work; (d) establishment
of homes registration service.




CHAPTER X II.
REPORT OF WORK IN MICHIGAN.
Detroit, of course, is the great industrial center of Michigan, and
to this point alone it was estimated that in the two years 1916-17
between 25,000 and 30,000 Negro migrants came. The department
further estimated that these Detroit migrants came mainly from
Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee. Reasonable proportion
of migrants in accordance with the calls of industry were, of course,
distributed among other Michigan industrial cities, such as Kala­
mazoo, Benton Harbor, Flint, Grand Rapids, Saginaw, Port Huron,
and other cities of equal or lesser importance in the industrial fabric
of Michigan. The automobile industry made Detroit, necessarily,
a most important point of destination for the Negro migrants.
. *
The United States census recorded 5,741 Negro inhabitants of
Detroit in 1910, while conservative estimates at the close of the war
period placed the number.at 35,000. Such an increase in Detroit
and correspondingly in other Michigan cities created far-reaching
problems of economics and -made the State of Michigan essentially
one where prompt endeavor on the part of the Department of Labor
ought to be made. The Negro residential district of Detroit had
become crowded, and as the Negro population spread it became
difficult to secure houses in the various localities. Naturally, then,
there came a tendency toward neighborhood segregation and a result­
ing sharp division between newcomers and the older residents.
These conditions called for consideration and sympathy on the part
of every agency, public or private, and in the mind of every person.
The pressing need of Michigan enterprises for laborers caused her
industrial captains to make theretofore unheard-of wage conditions.
Aside from the Negro laborer, thousands of workmen from all other
parts of the country and from European cities soon found location
m Michigan. Therefore the department sent a Negro expert to
supervise and handle, cooperatively, the many problems growing out
of the presence of an unusual number of Negro workers—skilled,
semiskilled, and unskilled.
It seems pertinent to make a brief mention of some of the agencies
which were functioning in economic and civic matters in Michigan
cities prior to the establishment of the Division of Negro Economics.
The Michigan State labor department has always been well organ­
ized and had been giving its usual attention to purely local matters.
The United States Employment Service of the Department of Labor
had been well established.in Michigan, and was growing rapidly in
its power and capability to take the-proper initiative in fostering and
promoting the welfare of workers whenever such workers came under
the supervision of the Government, particularly in regard to the warlabor program which included, in certain instances, beginning August
1, 1918, the recruiting and placing of large numbers of workers.




77

78

THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

No arrangements had been made, however, by the United States
Employment Service for handling the unusual problems which grew
out of the presence of 30,000 or more Negro newcomers. Among
the private agencies which had been doing laudable work in the
Detroit district there may be mentioned the Detroit Urban League,
which had been successfully active and competent in handling the
problems of Negro labor. In this connection it is interesting to note
some early experience which the Detroit Urban League had.
Number o f male and fem ale workers requested by employers through the join t employment
office and the D etroit Urban League July 2 to D ec. 23, 1917.1
MALE.

Laborers.......................................
Laborers (outside)......................
Truckers (au tom obile)............
Janitors........................................
Molders........................................
Machinists (unspecified)..........
Porters (unspecified)................
Laborers* helpers.......................
Yardmen.....................................
Kitchen men and dishwashers.
Furnace tenders.........................
Mechanics...................................
Core makers...............................
Housemen and bell boys.........
Chauffeurs and crankmen.......
Elevator m en.............................
Coal passers (laborers)..............

846
778
336
225
160
109

16
15
14

10

Metal carriers.........................
Tool makers............................
Repair vacuum cleaners----R iveters...................................
Metal (unspecified)...............
Cutters (unspecified)............
Watchmen..............................
Assembly men (automobile)
Assembly men’s helpers----Farm (unspecified)................
B lock testers...........................
Pipe layers..............................
R ivet buckers........................
Paper hangers........................
Miscellaneous (unspecified).

2,431

26
24

Total.............................

5,542

102
69
67
54
70
48
45
28

8
7

6
6
5
26
3

2
2
2
2

FEMALE.

Laundry (da y).......
Maids.......................
Factory (garment).
Dishwashers............
General housework
Ushers (theater)

123
45
32
24
25
19

Factory (cigar)
Cook..................
Office................
Miscellaneous..
Total—

18
15

2

14
317

Number o f Negro workmen employed on A pr. 27,1917, by firm s with which Detroit Urban
League had touch.
Packard Motor Car Co. (May 18)... 1,100 Detroit Pressed Steel Co............; . .
50
Buhl Malleable Iron Co...................
280 Hudson Motor Car Co.......................
50
Ford Motor Car Co.............................
200 Detroit Stove Works........................
27
Continental Motor Car Co................
200 Paige Detroit Motor Car Co.............
20
20
Aluminum Castings Co....................
150 Saxon Motor Car C o..........................
Michigan Steel Castings Co.............
170 H upp Motor Car Co..........................
20
Michigan Copper & Brass Co..........
125 Detroit Seamless Tubes Co.............
20
100 Monarch Foundry.............................
15
Michigan Central Railroad Co........
Michigan Malleable Iron Co............
100 Michigan Smelting & Refining Co.
100
General Aluminum & Brass Co......
65
Chalmers Motor Car Co.........................
62
Total......................................... 2,874

These data were compiled early in 1917 and therefore do not indi­
cate the increase and pressing demand for Negro labor which existed
at the climax of the war period. Thev show, however, how the
demand began to grow and how the inclusion of the Negro worker,
in larger numbers than ever before, secured his economic standing
in the great industry of Michigan.

1Reprinted from “ Negro Newcomers of Detroit, Mich./’ by George E. Haynes, Ph. D., published by
Home Missions Council, New York City.



T H E NEGRO A T W O R K D U R IN G T H E W O R L D W A R .

79

Such well-organized machinery for handling economic problems
as; was found in Michigan, lightened the plans of the department and
called for a slightly different program from that which was to be fol­
lowed in other States.
Forrester B. Washington who, as is observed in the Illinois report,
had been first appointed by the department as supervisor of Negro
economics for Michigan, later, in June, 1918, began work, with
headquarters at Detroit. Mr. Washington had been executive
secretary of the Detroit Urban League and had handled personally
more than 8,000 Negro workers during his earlier work in Detroit.
In the following months of July, August, and September Mr. Wash­
ington formulated the early plans for the work of the Division of
Negro Economics in Michigan. He made a number of surveys of labor
in Michigan cities and, under the immediate supervision of the
United States Employment Service, gave specific advice with regard
to, and handled personally, a great number of Negro labor problems,
particularly in the matter of recruiting. The early Michigan plans
called for Negro workers advisory committee formations in the
industrial district with a supervising State committee of white and
colored persons.
Consequently the Michigan program was well formulated when, on
October 1, 1918, Mr. .Washington was transferred to Illinois being
succeeded in Michigan by Dr. William Jennifer, formerly special agent
and examiner under the United States Employment Service with
official station at Washington, D. C. Dr. Jennifer entered upon the
work with a background of years of experience in matters relating
to Negroes in the United States Bureau of the Census, where he had
assisted in compiling the bulletin known as Negro Population in the
United States 1790 to 1910. Dr. Jennifer took his post under the
Michigan Federal director in October, taking up the plan as started
by Mr. Washington.
Dr. Jennifer at once continued the seeking out of representatives
of the industrial ranks, professional men, educators, and churchmen
for increased cooperation in Michigan. His itinerary on this mission
included Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, Jackson, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo,
Benton Harbor, Niles, Cassopolis, Grand Rapids, Saginaw, Bay
City, Flint, Lansing, Port Huron, and Pontiac. Later, similar
itineraries made possible his planning of the State conference for
December 14, 1918. At that conference, which was presided over by
the Federal director of the United States Employment Service, the
committees on organization, plans of work, ana women’s work made
their reports and an open discussion, in which all were invited to
take a part, was had regarding the peculiar local problems of Michigan
points. It was interesting to note that several special experiments
were being made in Micnigan respecting the efficiency of Negro
women workers. This group of workers— in industry and in per­
sonal and domestic service—was of rather large proportions, hence
the committee on women’s work at the Michigan conference made a
special report which follows.
J2XTRACT OF REPORT OF C O M M ITT EE O N W O M E N ’S W O R K .

Plans devised for changing industries from a war basis to a peace basis, the main
point being to bring about this change without throwing many out of employment.
1 . See that the work is the proper sort of work for a woman or girl.




80

THE

NEGRO AT W O R K D U R IN G T H E

W ORLD W A R .

2 . See that conditions are suitable—

(a) From the hygienic standpoint.
( b) From the moral standpoint.
3. Standards: Work to secure the following:
(а) Eight-hour day.
( б ) Forty-five minutes lunch hour.
(c) Ten minutes rest in the morning and 10 minutes in the afternoon.
(d) No work between 10 p. m. and 6 a. m.
(e) No sweatshop work.
4. Sanitary conditions (ventilation, lighting, temperature, cleanliness):
(a) Such as affect washrooms, lunch rooms, lockers, toilets.
5. Minimize hazards connected with the work:
(a) Such as result from fumes, dust, chemicals, dampness, and lack of
proper ventilation.
( b) Good environment.
(c) Lifting not exceeding 25 pounds.
(d) Wages—a living wage. ^
(e) Age limit. (Conformation to child-labor laws.) (Education-compulsory
laws.)
6 . To further promote our plans, we must have a list of industries in which colored
women are em ployed:
(a) Investigate to find out cause where only white women are employed and
strive to secure the employment also of colored women wdiere such
discrimination exists.
7. Efficiency should be striven for in several different ways:
(a) Such as number of hours service given weekly.
(b) Quality of service given.
(c) Geniality of temperament, pleasing personality.
8 . See if there be segregation in the rest rooms, and in the wages. If so, seek rem edy:
(a) See that in the training schools the colored girl gets the same advantage
as the wdiite girl.
(b) See if there be a chance for promotion of colored girls in the factory or
work-place under consideration.
(c) Study the class of workers to which we make appeal.
(d) Find out the attitude of the employer and employee each to the other.
Strive for amicable adjustment of differences.
(e) Study how the employer can be best appealed to and reached.
The undersigned committee accepts this outline as a basis for work and will organize
to put it into operation in accordance with the needs of the individual localities.
Mrs. H e l e n B . I r v i n , Temporary Chairman.
Mrs. E. C. H a s k e l l , Secretary.
Mrs. M a u d H e n d e r s o n .
Mrs. E. L . J o h n s o n .
Mrs. M a r y E. M c C o y .
Mrs. A. C. H a f f o r d .
Mrs. M a t t ie O . R e e d .
Mrs. M a t t ie L . J o h n s o n .
Mrs. Mrs. L u c y L . B e r r y .
Mrs. H e l e n B . B r o w n .
Miss E t h e l H e n s l e y .
Miss O . L . W il l ia m s .
Mr. J o h n M. R a g l a n d .

Inasmuch as there already existed in the Department of Labor a
women's bureau which was handling, on a broad basis, policies
respecting the ideals and accomplishments of women workers, the
plans of this early Negro workers^ conference were shaped to include
the needs and conditions of women workers throughout the State.
Out of the conference there grew a State Negro Workers’ Advisory
Committee, which was the overhead organization for the following
county and city committees: Bay, Berrien, Genesee, Ingham, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Muskegon, Oakland, Saginaw, St. Clair,
Washtenaw, Wayne, and Calhoun.




T H E NEGRO A T W O R K D U R IN G T H E W O R L D W A R .

81

As illustative of the kind of cooperation which the department was
able to secure in Michigan, the interests represented at the conference
and on the State Negro Workers7 Advisory Committee are cited as
follows: The Y. W. C. A., the Y . M. C. A., the State Federation of
Labor, the State Missionary Society, union and nonunion labor,
merchants and business men, professional classes, the press, private
and social welfare agencies and governmental agencies. All these
units gave freely of their influence in the matter of shaping plans
and policies for the welfare of Negro workers. Where there was such
a community of interest industrial conditions and needs in the matter
of racial adjustments were remedied with comparative ease, for
reaching into any plan of solidarity of such a nature there come poten­
tial forces from every unit in the community and State and the ulti­
mate successful results may be anticipated from the very beginning.
A t later dates the Micmgan supervisor visited practically every
important point where Negro labor was involved throughout the
State and the various county and city committees were given author­
ity to carry forward concrete plans in labor matters. One or two
strikes were investigated. The usual efforts in seeking and securing
placements for Negro soldiers were made. Groups of laborers who
were perhaps on the verge of striking were visited and conferred with,
and their employers, where practicable, were giveP departmental
advice. Congested housing conditions in. Detroit and other cities
were given such practical attention as were possible. Extraordinary
efforts were made in seeking placements at plants for Negro women.
A number of mass meetings Tor creating better sentiment and high
morale were held at strategic points. In pressing cases of placements,
telephone inquiries were made direct with Michigan 'factories and
employment blanks and notices were given to men for filling out and
filing. On Sundays it was possible' to nave read in Michigan churches
notices of unusual interests to colored labor.
In Michigan, as in other States, there were found employers
who had not employed colored workmen. Such employers were
visited personally by the supervisor and, were impressed with a state­
ment of the efficiency, conduct, and work of many Negro workers in
Michigan and elsewhere.
In all it would be difficult to tabulate specifically the many and
varied steps which were taken in Michigan. Such steps, however,
were based upon the complete plan of the Secretary o f Labor and
included the same policies that the Department of Labor was charged
to carry out in the interests of all workers of the United States,
white and colored, male or female.
The Federal director of the United States Employment Service com­
mented with great favor upon the work of Dr. Jennifer, the Michigan
supervisor of Negro economics. (See letter quoted on p. 23.)
1989°— 21------6




CHAPTER X II.
REPORT OF WORK IN MISSISSIPPI.
Mississippi, with its great farm land and cotton areas, its tremen­
dously active lumber interests, its thousands of Negro workers who
were performing the greater part of labor in connection with those
industries, offered many complex problems for the Department of
Labor in carrying into this State the work of the Division of Negro
Economics. From the strict standpoint of economics the output
from the above industries had been jeopardized throughout the war
period by the tremendously large migration northward by Negroes
from the agricultural districts of Mississippi. It was difficult to esti­
mate, as has been done in the other Southern States, the exact num­
ber of Negroes leaving Mississippi points, for the reason that a great
many of them were drawn from between southern and northern Mis­
sissippi, while many others migrated to Arkansas regions and returned
to Mississippi.
However, of the four to six hundred thousand Negroes who did in
fact come from Southern States to the North during the war it is
safe to say that Mississippi contributed a larger proportion than any
other State in the South. On the part of workers it had long been
alleged that Mississippi wages were low. Sawmill wages were quoted
in 1910 as SI. 10 a day, \yhile ordinary hand labor in the agricultural dis­
tricts, it is said, was paid for at rates as low as 60 and 75 cents a day.
Four dollars a week was said to be a fair wage for domestic and per­
sonal service, and even though wages were reported to have increased
during the period 1916-1918 from 10 to 25 per cent, northern industries
drew from Mississippi thousands and thousands of its Negro workers,
male and female. Being an agricultural State, producing cotton,
foodstuffs, and the like, and Negro workers performing the bulk of
labor in connection with agriculture, Mississippi labor shortage soon
became a very serious matter to productivity of this State.
When the United States Employment Service with headquarters
at Meridian, Miss., arranged to supervise the State work of the
Division of Negro Economics, the racial consciousness of Negroes
was so strongly developed and interracial relations became so cordial
that it was possible at once to bring about an immediate cooperation
of State, private, and Federal agencies which was not surpassed by
that of any other State or locality. The State board of education,
the Mississippi Welfare League, chambers of commerce throughout
the State, the United States Department of Agriculture, the Missis­
sippi Association of Teachers in Colored Schools, the Negro banks,
colleges, and various other private organizations promptly pledged
their full support to the work of Negro economics.
Consequently, following a preliminary trip through Mississippi of
the Director of Negro Economics and following a meeting o f the
Southern Sociological Congress on July 12, 1918, the service of Negro
economics was established under the immediate supervision of the
82



THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

83

United States Employment Service, and Rev. J. C. Olden, who was
well known and respected by citizens of Mississippi, \fras appointed
as supervisor of Negro economics for that State. Prior to that time
Mr. Olden had been assisting the United States Employment Service
district superintendent in Mississippi and Alabama points in further­
ing the aims of the Employment Service and in stimulating the senti­
ment and desires of Negro workers. As a result, he had built up a
strong chain of support, particularly in the churches and schools.
Among the early concrete results of the Negro workers' advisory
committee there may be cited the three following:
1 . ' Cooperation among the railroad shop workers of Meridian.
2 . Discriminatory practices in connection with the “ work card ” system in Meridian

were brought before the proper authorities and the entire scheme abolished.
3. The Federal director requisitioned the entire forces of our advisory committees
and delegated to them the big responsibility of direct assistance in the placing of
Negro soldiers.

It is apparent that these results were made possible through the
new consciousness of the Negro wage earner as to his worth as a pro­
ducing agent and as to his having a higher regard for his employer.
In November, 1918, the supervisor formulated a publicity program
which ;was furthered throughout the State in January, 1919. The
principal purposes of that program are given below, and it may be
noted that through the county line-up of Negro workers' advisory com­
mittees in the State it was possible to reach every public and private
school and college in the State as well as the public in general:
1. Members of advisory committee to present the work of the department before^
all schools in their respective districts where no travel is necessary.
2. Supervisor Negro economics to present the work before all schools and colleges
not covered in this allotment. Allotments to be made and specific dates set at the
meeting of State committee (December).
3. Each school and college will be asked to join the ranks and support the work and
give a written indorsement of the same.
4. From tim e to tim e (afterwards) the schools w ill be kept in constant touch with
our work b y means of literature and personal visits.
5 . The State department of education w ill be asked to indorse our program and re­
lease copies of their indorsement to all white superintendents and colored supervisors.
6 . Assistant State supervisor of Negro schools w ill be asked to assist in allotting
schools to committee members.
7. Members of the State committee w ill be urged tp present our work before every
public gathering—fraternal, business, religious—possible in their various districts.
8 . All wlute organizations of influence that believe in the uplift of the Negro w ill be
asked to indorse our program and lend every influence toward its accomplishment.
9 . If possible the ministry of the State w ill be asked to prepare special sermons,
bearing on our work, for the second Sunday in January.
10 . Members of the State committee will be asked to see that in all emancipation
celebrations for January 1 our work shall b e presented.

As being concretely indicative of the record for the departmental
work in Mississippi there may be mentioned the following typical
commendations o f two large Mississippi firms, which said:
1 . We trust that you will remain in Meridian as long as you possibly can and make
as many talks as it is possible for you to make to other employees as well as to ours.
2 . We wish to write this testimonial unsolicited b y you as to the beneficial results of
your inspiring talks to our employees. W e were very much impressed with your
talks and found that our white employees seemed to enjoy them and profit b y m em
as much as our numerous colored workmen.

The State Negro workers' advisory committee was effectively
organized with a membership of 29 and having representation at the
beginning from 25 counties of* the State. Prompt steps were taken



84

THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

for the formation in the counties of subcommittees. Prof. R. S.
Grossley, assistant supervisor of Negro schools, later field organizer
for the United States Employment Service, made a survey of the
northern portion of the State and outlined the organization of the
county committees. The State committee decided that its plan of
organization and work should be released to representatives of various
welfare organizations of the State and that, as far as possible, the
work should be outlined before local societies, such as the Red
Cross, insurance companies, and the like. Letters stating the pur­
pose and plans of the committee of organization were released through
the United States Employment Service to its subsidiary officials
throughout the State. O f interesting importance in the way of co­
operation there should be mentioned the attitude of the Methodist
Episcopal Conference of the State of Mississippi, which indorsed
completely the departmental program. This conference had pre­
viously carried on a campaign in the interest of efficiency of Negro
wage earners, and was quick to recognize the facility to be gained
through official functions.
In January, 1919, the supervisor visited a number of Mississippi
counties and cities, among which were McComb, Pike, Amite, Walthall,
Lincoln,Marion, andCrystalSprings. At these points county teachers’
meetings were attended and full cooperation of the teaching forces
secured. Prof. Grossley, representing the State board of education,
was present at these meetings and his subsequent work calls for the
sincere thanks of the department to him and to the Mississippi
State educational department for their constant help, Mr. Grossley
having served throughout the work as a dollar-a-vear man. i
The domestic help problem mentioned previously in this report
gained particular significance by March, 1919, and in line with the
policies of the United States Employment Service to assist in reliev­
ing this problem a survey was made by the supervisor, from which
the following facts were adduced :
1 . Conditions.- 7 ( 0 ) Unrest among domestic help; (b) constant shifting of domestic
help; (c) lack of interest in work and efficiency among domestic help; (d) absolute
refusal to work on part of domestic help.
2. Apparent causes.— (a) Low wages; ( b) lack of sympathetic cooperation between
women employers and women employees.

Concerning (c) and (d) under the conditions we find the following
very human attitudes expressed in this simple manner:
What’s the use of doing good work when we get poor pay?
nothing “ for nothing” than to work “ for nothing.”

It is better to do

In the way of suggestions for relief the supervisor recommended
that a vigorous campaign of conferences with women workers be
begun, together with adaed assistance from the colored ministry to
the end that cooperation of the women workers and women employers
might bring forth some concession on the part of employers to" the
efficient women workers in the matter of wages. These conferences
were had and, in many instances, the problem was much relieved.
The program of work of Negro workers' advisory committees varied
to some extent in accordance with the peculiar conditions of each
State. The program of work which was outlined for Mississippi is
given below as snowing the most stable means of accomplishing the
objects of the work in this State.



TH E NEGRO AT WORK DURING TH E WORLD WAR.

85

SUGGESTIONS TO INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF THE NEGRO W ORKERS’ ADVISORY COM­
MITTEES FOR FIRST STEPS IN LOCAL ORGANIZATION.

1. Calling together colored representatives.— It will probably be well to call together
four or five most responsible colored citizens (at least one of them should be a woman)
in your county, town, or city and go over with them in detail, the plans and purpose
of the State Negro workers’ advisory committee. In calling together these persons
all possible factionalism should be avoided. The men and women called together
should be the leaders of various organizations and the various occupations of the
community.
2. Get in touch with white employers.—The Federal Director of the United States
Employment Service of your State, or the Supervisor of Negro Economics will give
you, if you write him, the names of some white citizens of your community whom
these officials depend upon for local matters. You also know some of the most re­
sponsible and trusted white employers of your locality. It will be well to go to them
for information and advice about cooperation of white people in your efforts on labor
questions affecting the colored people. In case you do not know the name and address
of the State official, write for the information to the chairman of your State Negro
workers’ advisory committee or to Dr. George E. Haynes, Director of Negro. Eco­
nomics, Department of Labor, Washington, D. C.
•
#3. Explain to white citizens the organization o f the State committee.—The representa­
tive white men in your community should be interested. Get in touch with two or
three of them, as suggested under No. 2, and tell them about the organization of the
State Negro workers’ advisory committee. Explain to them that this committee has
cooperative white members; explain further the plan to have a county and neighbor­
hood Negro advisory committee with white cooperative members. It is well to ask
tbeir help in securing white citizens as permanent cooperating members of the county
and local advisory committees. As soon as you decide on representative colored
men for members of your local committee, and white men who may be recommended
for cooperating members, send those names, with comments about the persons, their
occupations and other connections, to the chairman of your State advisory committee.
4. Reaching the colored population.—The large numbers of colored people may be
reached through the churches arid the lodges. A personal visit made by you or some
other responsible person to talk to those attending each church and each lodge is
necessary. They need to be informed about the relation of their productive labor
to agriculture and industry. It will help also to secure white citizens to talk to
Negro audiences. The facts about the purpose ohthe Department of Labor in organiz­
ing these Negro workers’ advisory committees should be stated (see Article II of the
constitution of the committee). Explain the present labor crisis and the important
part Negroes are playing and can play in getting one hundred per cent production.
The Department of "Labor desires to get these constructive plans before your com­
munity very soon by your help and the help of others on the State Committee. As
soon as you are^in a position to put further plan.3 in operation, please signify that by
writing the chairman of your State Advisory Committee or to the Supervisor of Negro
Economics,' Department of Labor, Meridian, Miss.
5. Cooperation in adjusting conditions.— If there is anything in your community
which is causing restlessness and dissatisfaction among the colored people and you
think these should be brought to the attention of white employers go to two or three
white citizens whom you can trust or the cooperating members of your committee
and ask them to help you get the facts relating to such dissatisfaction before the
members of local authorities or employers.
Please bear in mind, however, especially in giving complaints, b y all means to have
some constructive plans and' suggestions to correct and satisfy the complaints of the
CQlored people. As you w ill agree, it is not sufficient and it is poor policy to go for­
ward at any time with complaints and not have positive plans for remedying them.
Some practical, constructive suggestions and plans which can be proposed to remedy
causes are b y all means essential.
Furthermore, we should not always expect to have our plans to remedy those con­
ditions adopted. > Other citizens may have better plans. The aim of the Negro,
workers’ advisory committees is to help with constructive plans and program^ to assist
our country in getting the largest production in agriculture and industry and at the
same time to help secure improved conditions among Negro wage earners. Both
these ends can best be reached b y constructive plans and programs.
6. There is being organized, now, b y the United States Employment Service what
are known as community labor boards, made up of representatives of the employers,
of the employees, and of the United States Em ployment Service. Y ou should get
in touch with the white men who are on your local community labor board. If there




86

THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

is no local board, you should endeavor to obtain, through the Supervisor of Negro
Economics, the names of white citizens with whom you should get in touch on em­
ployment matters.
In case you do not know who the local members of your community labor board
are, y o u should write to the Federal Director of the United States Employment
Service of your State, to your State Supervisor of Negro Economics, or to the Depart­
ment of Labor, Washington, D. C.
7.
Some o f the types o f work ichich you can begin.— (a) Holding public mass meet­
ings to inform the people about the need for systematic labor; (b) Discussions at regu­
lar church and lodge meetings and other gatherings; (c) Bringing to the attention of
the United States Employment Service any misunderstandings among the colored
people about the use of that service b y them.
Further suggestions will be furnished you upon request.
Any other things which it seems to you it would be well to do in your community
you may take up with the chairman of your State Advisory Committee or with the
Supervisor of Negro Economics of your State, if one has been appointed.
G e o r g e E. H a y n e s ,
Director o f Negro Economics.
O ctober , 1918.

January, 1919, found the work in Mississippi well under way. The
program of work had been presented at the Meridian Emancipation
celebration exercises. The introductory card made up by the super­
visor and approved by the Federal director to be used in connection
with the recruiting had been sent out and a subsequent State com­
mittee meeting, as the work developed, had been planned. This
meeting was held on January 27, 1919, in the Board of Trade Build­
ing of Jackson, Miss., and the following points were discussed:
1. Organization.
2. Efficiency of Negro labor.
3. Better conditions for farm labor.
4. Boys Working Reserve.
5. Plantation life in the Delta.
The Federal Director of fhe United States Employment Service
was present and emphasized the need for a readjustment between
men, races, and nations, and the common basis of understanding of
right and justice. A cordial spirit of good will and hearty coopera­
tion existed throughout the meeting and every interest was more
strongly linked up than ever before in the purpose of furthering the
plans of the Department of Labor. The organization of the Boys
Working Reserve, an organization of youthful members to substi­
tute for men who were in the Army in" planting and harvesting the
agricultural crops, was taken up. Later on the Boys Working Re­
serve Organization among Negro youth of Mississippi became effi­
cient ana helpful. At the close of January the plans as applicable
to Mississippi ^T
vere well established for returning soldiers. In Feruary 1919 the Supervisor visited Yazoo City, Greenwood, Indianola,
Greenville and \icksburg. He reported increased thrift among
Negro men and women and full time labor in the cotton fields. He
reported, however, that in regions where conditions were particu­
larly bad there were miles and miles of fields of unpicked cotton.
In December, 1918, Supervisor Olden, who returned to his ministry,
was succeeded by Lemuel L. Foster, who took over the duties as
supervisor of Negro economics for Mississippi. Mr. Foster had been
trained at Fisk University, had done considerable welfare and social
work in the South, and for one month prior to his appointment, had
given voluntary assistance to the United States Employment Service
in furthering its work. Mr. Foster took up with vigor the program



THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

87

begun by his predecessor and supervised the work until its close, June
30, 1918. Among the surveys ne made a special report on two of
the large lumber companies of Mississippi, which had realized the
jieed of uniformly good working conditions and recreational facilities
for its workers. He reported in these two instances a contented and
efficient working force and a lack of turnover. These surveys were
considered of sufficient importance for a departmental release and
the facts were given wide publicity in order to stimulate other
employers and other employees, respectively, to establish and to
hope to receive the same treatment.
The membership on the advisory committee of white and colored
citizens included the former mayor of Meridian, the vice president
of the Citizens’ National Bank, the clerk of the chancery court,
and a prominent business man, all of whom were representative
white citizens, shows again the type of cooperation which the depart­
ment was able to secure. (For letter commending the work, see
p. 23.)




CHAPTER X III.
REPORT OF WORK IN NEW JERSEY.
Prior to the war, Negro workers had been employed here and there
in industrial and agricultural pursuits in New Jersey. A fairly good
wage was paid to the Negro workers in the occupations to which they
were admitted. With the increased demands of the war, industries
in New Jersey quite naturally became attractive locations for thou­
sands of Negroes who came north. It is estimated that at least 25,000
Negro migrants located in the cities of New Jersey during the period
of 1916-17. The probable distribution of these newcomers, on the
estimated basis, is indicated in the following table:
New York Central camp, Weehawken......................................................................
Erie camps:
Weehawken.............................................................................................................
Jersey C ity...............................................................................................................
Philadelphia & Reading, Pennsylvania R. R ., etc., camps.................................
Jersey C ity......................................................................................................................
N ew ark...........................................................................................................................
Carneys Point.................................................................................................................
Trenton....................................................................................................
Camden...............................................; ...........................................................................
Bayonne, Paterson, and Perth A m boy......................................................................
Wrightstown and South Jersey...................................................................................
Orange, Montclair, Paterson........................................................................................

500
300
100

1,300
3,000
7,000
3,500
3,000
2,000

4 ,000
3,000
3,000

Total...................................................................................................................... 30 700

Various agencies, Federal, State, and private, were keeping in touch
with conditions affecting the labor situation of New Jersey for some
time prior to the establishment of the Division of Negro Economics.
Among the more important agencies giving special attention to Negro
affairs were the Associated Charities of Newark, the Urban League
of Newark, and the State Bureau of Negro Migrants of the State De­
partment of Labor, under the direction of Col. Lewis Bryant. This
work caused increased attention to be given to matters pertaining
to Negro workers. Correlating the efforts of these organizations, the
United States Employment Service had carried forward the employ­
ment policies and developed the recruiting and placement facilities
in every field of labor, including Negro labor. It was quite natural,
then, that the Department of Labor, having established a special
Negro economics service, should turn to these agencies in the begin­
ning for advice and assistance in putting into effect its special plans
for improving conditions and relations oi Negro workers.
A hasty preliminary survey was undertaken in Newark, N. J., by
William M. Ashby, at that "time executive secretary of the Urban
League, at Newark, N. J., and later supervisor of Negro economics
for New Jersey. The city of Newark was the largest industrial cen­
ter in the State and was a pivotal point from which departmental
activities affecting Negro workers might be well directed.
88




TH E NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

89

The Negro population in Newark in 1910 was approximately 10,000.
By 1918 there had been an addition of from 8,000 to 10,000 and at
the close of 1918 this number had been increased. The mean number
of deaths for 1917 was about 550, or probably 20.23 per cent per
1,000, a rather large number, probably, on account of the newcomers
from the South who were subjected to very unfavorable housing and
living conditions under the severe New Jersey climate, and Who were
not advised as to proper clothing. These figures were corroborated
by prominent insurance companies.
Unlike most cities, in Newark there had been previously no distinct
Negro quarters. With the influx of newcomers, however, Negro dis­
tricts formed and from a few families large neighborhoods developed.
The general trend of living conditions indicated a merging together
of the older residents and the newer Negro population. Housing
conditions were poor and rents were high. In a number of cases 10
and 12 persons lived in two or three rooms. The high purchase
prices o f properties and excessive rents, which increased in keeping
with the law of demand and supply, and the restricted area where
colored people could purchase, often keep the newcomers from secur­
ing suitable quarters.
Negroes were engaged, principally, in the unskilled work in chemical
plants, transportation, trucking, shipyard work, leather factories, iron
molding, foundries, construction, and team driving. In Newark
the Negro construction workers and iron shipbuilding workers formed
a union which did not win the recognition of the secretary of the State
Federation of Labor because he said the Negroes wanted to choose a
name that was already in use by another union. A smelteamen’s union
was organized in Trenton among the Negroes. Their delegate sits
in the Federated Union Council of the city. A hod carriers, union,
Local No. 1, elected a Negro as delegate. This union has about
1,200 members, about 50 per cent of whom are white. The team­
sters’ union of whites and Negroes has a Negro delegate.
It is estimated that 6,000 male and 1,000 female workers were em­
ployed in the several industries in Newark alone. The Negro female
workers found employment in toy factories, shirt factories, clothing
factories, and glue factories, at an average wage of about $8 a week.
In the shell-loading plants the pay was much higher. This is true
• of pieceworkers in other occupations, too. Negro women were also
at work in garment factories, tobacco factories, toy factories, shell­
loading plants, celluloid manufacturing, food production, leather-bag
making and trunk making, as well as m assorting cores in foundries.
Negro women became reluctant to take positions as domestic
servants on account of increasing demands for their services in in­
dustrial plants. Occasionally, a machinist, a carpenter, a millwright
found employment as a skilled worker, and hundreds of riveters were
employee! in the Federal shipbuilding agencies and districts, not to
speak of private concerns. Calkers and shipfitters were also in
demand. Anglesmiths, boiler makers, packers, molders, steel chippers, and stationary firemen found ample employment.
• As a hopeful sign there may be pointed out tne small amount of
friction between male workers of the two races; race relations were
scarcely ever other than harmonious. Difficulties were more fre­
quent among females. There were difficulties, also, when Negro
skilled workers were first put on any job. Also, there were occa­



90

THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

sional difficulties where white and colored workers were engaged in
the same plant.
The Negro church is the most, effective agency for dealing with
Negro workers, and through their church life a larger connection
can be made than in any other way, but, unfortunately, it was only
the individual ministers who took the Negro’s industrial advantage
seriously and tried to point out to him the industrial virtues. The
church situation, therefore, is always an important factor to under­
stand in any community. Newark is predominantly a Negro Bap­
tist community. In some cases, migrants from the South brought
pastors of their own denominations with them and they reestab­
lished their congregations in the new home. The department found
a great need for handling social and industrial problems and began
cautiously to develop a program of work for the entire State.
Accordingly, William M. Ashby, mentioned above, a graduate of
Lincoln and Yale Universities and a man of unusual experience in
industrial and social work, was released by his organization to the
Department of Labor to be supervisor of Negro economics for New
Jersey. Mr. Ashby at once made a brief investigation of certain
New Jersey firms, visiting the cities of Elizabeth, Jersey City, Bay­
onne, Garwood, Mays Landing, Camden, Paterson, Camp Dix,
Camp Merritt, Atlantic City, Carneys Point, and other •strategic
points. Prominent firms in these cities, engaged in fulfilling both
Government contracts and contracts for private firms and individ­
uals, expressed their desire for the assistance of the Department of
Labor.
To three large firms in Camden the supervisor suggested the
placement of a Negro foreman, in order to handle with the greatest
satisfaction gangs of Negro workers. This suggestion w^as adopted
in each case. At Amatol, a shell-loading plant was approached by
the supervisor on the matter of the diversion of a large number of
colored women workers from Atlantic City. Three hundred and
eighty-five such workers were secured in a few days.
A large plant at Paulsboro, which was running only one-fourth of
its capacity on account of the labor shortage, was assisted by re­
cruiting workers from Camden. This firm was engaged in making
French shells. At Camden, a shipbuilding company received a
supply of Negro workers through the employment activity of the
supervisor.
For a firm in Garwood, which was making steel and brass rods for
the United States Navy, men were recruited from Newark. To a
Jersey City firm with a Government contract to supply meat for
overseas, the supervisor brought, within five days, about 45 Negro
workers. At Pompton Lakes, a plant running only to about 60 per
cent of its capacity because of labor shortage was assisted in securing
about 25 colored men. This plant had feared racial friction; but
under the advice of the supervisor, no racial trouble came as a result
of bringing these colored men.
In Grasseli, Newark, Edgewater, Kearney, Lakehurst, Freehold,
Chrome, and Bound Brook, at later dates, the supervisor gave similar
assistance, placing in all over 250 Negro workers in the course of
about three weeks.
On another itinerary, the supervisor visited Paterson, Elizabeth,
Orange, Plainfield, Bayonne, Irenton, Atlantic City, Asbury Park,



THE NEGRO* AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

91

Perth Amboy, Dover; and Roebling, making observations of labor
shortages and assisting in recruiting and placing Negro workers to
supply the needs. -

As samples of such observations and practical action which fol­
lowed, there are cited below five brief investigations conducted by
the New Jersey supervisor in November, 1918:
1 . A female employee of t h e --------- Co., being an operator on a night shift, was
overheard b y me to complain of unjust treatment on a threat of ejection m the middle
of the night from the plant of the aforesaid company, by one of its assistant foremen.
Fearing that her story, though harmlessly told, would create an erroneous impression
and probably thereby menace the opportunity of other operatives, I interrupted her
and asked her to repeat it to me. Upon hearing it in full, 1 took her to the representa­
tive of the company in this office and with her assistance an interview with the em­
ployment manager and general manager was secured. The statement of her case in
this interview—at which also was the assistant foreman against whom the complaint
was made—was thoroughly considered and satisfactorily settled. Thus, the suspi­
cions of other Negro workers who were sought for this plant were met and dispelled.
2 . In an attempt to produce greater efficiency among the colored women operatives
of t h e -------— Co., I had a lady of our department, along with the lady in charge of a
colored social settlement, interview the superintendent of the women’s department
of the company. The superintendent of the above-mentioned company reports that,
as against 12 colored women, the number with which they started three months ago,
there are now 122 colored women, and that their work is very creditable under the
direction of a matron who is colored. Efficiency clubs will be organized in this shop.
3. A female employee of t h e ----------Co. complained of discrimination received at
the plant for which she worked. The supervisor of Negro economics had the matter
investigated and received report that this company had ceased operation on account
of cancellation of contract. Case can not be carried further.
4. A general circular form was sent to 55 employers of Negro labor throughout the
State of New Jersey, to ascertain the quality of the work which is being given by
such labor. The replies are varied, the general tone being very commendable.
5. The investigation at t h e --------- plant revealed that there are now about 60 col­
ored women operatives whose work is commendable as against the unit of 10 which we
started there when the opportunity was opened.

In keeping with the plans of the department, the New Jersey con­
ference, drawn along the lines of prior conferences in other States,
was called and held on Friday, November 22, 1918. Representative
citizens, white and colored, from all over the State were present. The
following program was carried out:
The constitution of the Negro workers’ advisory committee was
adopted, and shortly thereafter the formation of committees was
begun. On account of the location of persons and problems in the
cities of New Jersey, it was more practicable to begin at first the
formation of the city committees than to follow the plans of other
States and form, first, the State and county committees. Accord­
ingly Negro workers’ advisory committees were soon formed in Pat­
erson, Newark, Camden, Trenton, Atlantic City, and several other
New Jersey points. These committees functioned under the direction
of the State supervisor of Negro economics and in close cooperation
with the United States Employment Service and other public and
private organizations.
As a sample of other activities in this State, the following extracts
are given. The following concerns the peculiar condition which the
New Jersey supervisor found at Camp Dix, N. J.:




92

THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

REPORT ON SITUATION AMONG COLORED SOLDIERS AT CAMP D IX, X . J ., WHO ARE TO
BE DEMOBILIZED SOON.

On Friday, January 3, 1919, I went to Camp Dix. Immediately on my arrival I
went to Y . M. C. A. Hut No. 7, which is used by Negro soldiers. Mr. Sheiby David­
son, secretary, and Mr. C. T. Greene, assistant secretary, were interviewed. In the
course of interview the point of most significance was the fact that there was a decided
aversion on the part of all the men attaching their names to anything which spelled
United States, as most of them believed it meant reenlistment. This corroborated the
statement made b y Mr. William Banks, of the Employment Service, now in the camp.
The secretary mentioned also the fact that men from the United States Employment
Service had talked to the colored men to enlist their interest, but few had gone over.
I then went to Building 928, where I met Col. Casper H. Cole, the commandant,
and Mr. William Banks, who is in charge of the United States Employment Service
in the camp. I inquired whether colored men came into the office in great nembers.
The answer was negative. The reason for this was, I believe, due to what was said
above, that men are afraid to sign their names to Government matters. I asked if
the command that all soldiers in the camp be marched to the employment office be­
fore their demobilization applied to colored as well as white men. The answer was
affirmative.
After their supper I spoke to about 300 colored men in the Y . M. C. A. and explained
the situation more clearly relative to the Government's position in interest of getting
men work as soon as they are discharged.
My suggestion on the situation as applicable to all men in the camp, white and col­
ored alike, is that in speaking of railroad opportunities men say 4
'Pennsylvania Rail­
road,” “ Reading Railroad,” or “ Santa F e,” etc., instead of saying United States Rail­
road Administration, and also that in speaking of shipyards they say “ Submarine,”
“ Newport News,” “ Bristol,” “ Tampa,” etc., instead of United States Shipping
Board. This would eliminate from the minds of men the idea of a connection between
the idea of a job and the Government.
W illiam M. A shby ,
Supervisor o f Negro Economics fo r New Jersey.

The following letter shows the type of effort inaugurated during
the reconstruction period to give first-hand assistance through the
United States Employment Service to returning soldiers:
Circular letter of advice.

March 27, 1919.
From: The Director of Negro Economics.
To: The Supervisors of Negro Economics.
Subject: Cooperation with WT Camp Community Service.
ar
1 . I find that the War Camp Community Service has a number of camps for Negro
soldiers and sailors, and I am informed that it is cooperating with the United States
Employment Service. I have talked with some of the representatives about their
colored work and have also taken up the matter with the Director General, United
States Employment Service, and the National Director of the Bureau for Placing Re­
turning Soldiers and Sailors. It is agreeable to the national director for you to take
up with the Federal director of the employment service of your State the question of
utilizing such of these war camps as seem suitable for assisting in placing Negro soldiers
and sailors.
2 . Y ou w ill find inclosed a list of the communities where there are activities for
colored soldiers, together with the names of the workers. I advise that you take this
up with the Federal director and assist him in getting in touch with such of these
people as he wishes to.
Respectfully,
G eorge E. H aynes ,
Director o f Negro Economics.
Approved:
E dward E aston , Jr.,
National Superintendent,
Bureau fo r Returning Soldiers and Sailors.
W ade H. S kinner ,
Acting Director, Organization Division,
U. S. Employment Service.




THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

93

Some sample replies to letters of the New Jersey Supervisor contain
statements regarding the employment of Negro workers. These
responses were in reply to a questionnaire the object of which was to
secure the information:
With reference to the questionnaire received from you, we are pleased to advise
that we are using Negro workers as porters, elevator operators, matrons, dishwashers,
and for other miscellaneous positions in the restaurant.
During the war we engaged quite a number of colored women to act as elevator*
operators. In all branches of the work, we have found Negro workers entirely satis­
factory.
Answering your favor of recent date with reference to the Negro workers in our
plant, I beg to state that we are well pleased with their work and I find them to be
good and willing workers under the supervision of our white foremen, whom we have
instructed to give every colored man or woman applying for work to this company
the most cordial treatment, not the variety that will antagonize and drive them away
from the job.
M y personal dealings in the past as Employment and Welfare Manager, with the
white and Negro workers have proven successful, as I have found that through kind­
ness and friendly treatment, eliminating all profanity and personal insults, the major­
ity of the Negro workers will do the work assigned to them thoroughly and to any
com pany’s satisfaction.
At present we have in our em ploy several hundred Negroes employed as general
factory helpers only, but in the near future I hope to be successful in inducing my
company to employ Negro mechanics. * * *

Answering your inquiry of the 4th inst., would advise that about 40 per cent of our
labor is Negro. We do not find them to be as steady workers as the whites, although,
in some instances, they have proven to be very faithful.
We use them largely on work where muscular strength and endurance are of prime
importance and in this they work out quite well.
in a very few instances we have them operating machines, and, although we con­
sider these workers above the average, their work is very satisfactory.

Your letter, requesting information regarding our colored employees, was received.
We have, altogether, about 1,250 colored men and 6 women. Of the latter, 4 are
in our main restaurant as dishwashers, and two in our administration buildings, who
keep the ladies’ room in order. As a general rule our Negro workers give satisfaction.
Almost all of them are employed on the ships. They seem to make very good riveters,
bolters-up and chippers and caulkers. Those who recently came from the South
seem to reel the cold weather, but the others who are acclimated, are as strong and
hardy as the white men.
Among the number we have there are about 75 or 100 West Indian Negroes. There
are no colored men doing clerical work here at all. There are some working as laborers,
and as far as I know none are in the machine shops.

The following statements of Mr. Ashby, the New Jersey supervisor
of Negro economics, give a very full insight into certain of his activities.
These reports cover various periods following the signing of the
armistice and show the complete turning over of departmental
machinery to meet peace-time demands in the industrial life of the
State:
l am very pleased to .report a slight change for the better on the New Jersey con­
ditions of Negro labor this week. A t the opening of the past week the offices found
themselves unable to make opportunities but later'in the week new developments
occurred. This was true, particularly, of Newark where about 125 men were referred
during the week, at least 90 per cent of whom were placed. These openings were
made possible largely because of personal solicitation upon two industries. * * *




94

THE NEGRO AT W ORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

The unemployment situation is particularly acute in Jersey City now. The same
is true of Camden. In the former it is temporary, due to the strike of the Marine
workers in and about the port of New York. Many Negroes are stevedores on both
the New York and New Jersey sides and due to the fact that transportation is tied
up their work is made impossible.
In Camden, however, the lack of plants running
on full time and also the crowding in of applicants from Philadelphia make it difficult
to do much placing.
The great problem with which I am most concerned at the present, is that of the
returning soldiers. Many commissioned officers and also many men who distin­
guished themselves in the Fifteenth and Buffalo regiments are New Jersey men.
An appreciable number of these fellows are especially well prepared. I mention
two or three—an illustrator and pen and pencil etcher, really talented; a tractor
operator, graduate of the Scientific Course at Rutgers College; an auditor, near com­
pletion of his course in the New York School of Finance. For the tractor operator, I
have made, I believe, a position; but the remaining two are unemployed and it is
rather criminal to offer to such men the most ordinary opportunities we have.




CHAPTER X IV .

REPORT OF WORK IN NEW YORK.
Owing to special complications in the New York situation no State
conference was held. There was such delay in getting the situation
in hand that the supervisor of Negro economics, Mr. Jesse O. Thomas,
did not enter upon duty until September, 1918, just two months be­
fore the signing of the armistice, and his services were discontinued
because oi lack of funds after the end of that fiscal year. A New
York Negro Workers7 Advisory Committee was proposed in coopera­
tion with the United States Employment Service and the New York
City Employment Service and with the supervising commissioner of
the New York State Industrial Commission, but this committee did
not get fully to work before the readjustment came in the finance
and plans of the United States Employment Service, under which the
activities were carried on. A branch office of the United States Emloyment Service was opened in the Harlem district jointly with the
tate bureau of employment of the State industrial commission, under
Supt. Prince L. Edwards, and supervision given to this from Oc­
tober, 1918, to March, 1919, and much work was done in meeting
the difficult problems of placing semiskilled and skilled Negro wprkers
in industrial establishments in New York City and vicinity. A
large number of these men where returned Negro soldiers. The
Submarine Boat Coinoration may be mentioned, particularly, as hav­
ing taken into employment a number of men of technical training
and experience. Large numbers of the returning Negro soldiers, both
New York residents and those from other places, called for special
service from the placement agencies developed by the Federal Gov­
ernment and the State employment department.. The supervisor of
Negro economics for New York gave special help in the development
of this work. A survey was made of labor conditions in Buffalo,
N. Y ., in April, 1919, showing considerable unemployment because of
the closing down of munition plants and because o f the military de­
mobilization returning many men from overseas. Unskilled Negro
labor, however, could be placed without very much difficulty, but
semiskilled and skilled Negro workmen here, as in other places in the
State, found great difficulty in finding employment. Very few in­
dustrial plants in the city employed colored women. Some of the
firms, although employing thousands of workers, employed no colored
or only a few, and these only in the menial occupations such as maids
porters, janitors, or unskilled laborers. Similar surveys were made
m Rochester, Albany, and New York City and environs. Both in
New York City, Buffalo, and other parts o f the State the Negro serv­
ice of the department was heartily received by both white and col­
ored citizens, but only got well started before curtailment of appro­
priations made it necessary to discontinue its preparations.

S




95

9^

THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

Investigations were made of charges of discrimination against col­
ored workers and steps taken, in eacn case where the facts warranted,
to remove the handicap. When the housing situation began to be
acute the supervisor made a survey of important cities of the State
to ascertain the exact condition as it related to the Negro wage
earners with the view to assisting the United States Homes Regis­
tration Service in developing home-finding facilities, if thought ad­
visable.
Among the many organizations giving active cooperation special
mention should be made of the National Association of Colored
Women and its president, Mrs. Talbert, whose particular activity was
in the field at Buffalo, N. Y., and Mrs. Annette W. Erdmann, of the
industrial committee of the New York City Urban League, whose un­
tiring effort and hearty zeal were largely responsible for getting such
results as were possible under the complicated difficulties and con­
ditions.




CH APTER X V .

REPORT OF WORK IN NORTH CAROLINA.
North Carolina was selected as the State in which the initial effort
of the Department of Labor should be made, and its program estab­
lished for promoting and fostering the welfare of Negro Wage earners
through the special service of Negro economics. Consequently, fol­
lowing an official trip of the Director of Negro Economics into impor­
tant points in the State a conference of representative white and
colored citizens was called by Hon. T. W. Bickett, governor of North
Carolina, on June 19, 1918. There were present at this conference,
which was held in the office of the governor, 17 of the most sub-,
stantial Negro citizens from all parts of the State and five white
citizens, as described in Chapter II. At the close of the meeting the
governor appointed a temporary committee which drafted a consti­
tution provided for the Negro Workers Advisory Committee, and for
an organization of local county and city committees. The working
plan of organization, with slight modifications and adjustments, which
served as a model for the development of voluntary field organiza­
tions in other States, has been previously explained in the descrip­
tion of activities in other States.
Before discussing the subsequent steps of organization and activity
in North Carolina, brief attention is here given to a few general and
specific industrial and agricultural situations which obtained in North
Carolina.
These situations are cited for the purpose of showing the wide
scope of the field of Negro work into which the policies and plans of
the Division of Negro Economics were to be carried.
The chief occupations of Negro women were in the field of agri­
culture, laundry work, domestic service, some work in spinning mills
(and some in hosiery and underwear), and work in tabacco factories.
There was a scarcity of female labor and on that account a number
of silk mills had been closed. The cotton-mill season extends from
May to September, and the tobacco season from September to April.
In many instances the homes of workers were of a poor type; the
streets and sidewalks fronting such homes were unpaved 'and poorly
lighted. Surface drainage existed and general sanitation was inade­
quate in some cases. On the other hand, there were large numbers
of well-cared-for homes in communities of intelligent and progressive
Negroes.
In one.North Carolina city it was reported that a Negro union had
been organized to which the white workers objected. At New Bern,
lumber industries employing large numbers of Negroes were re­
ported as having “ working conditions ,which were unpleasant.”
At Wilmington Negroes were employed- in the shipyards, but only
in the unskilled occupations. At various other points in Nortn
Carolina Negroes found employment in tanneries, hosiery mills,
guano plants, box factories, and the like. Throughout the State
1989°—21------7




97

98

THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

there were found a number of physicians, dentists, druggists, and a
more than usual ownership of store and office buildings. At Kingston
5,000 Negro women and children were reported working in t’o bacco
factories. At Waynesville there were found mill girls, garment work­
ers, and a few clerks, organized and unorganized. As a general
situation throughout the State, Negro labor was much in demand
and was affected by the usual factors— (a) the union, (b) low wages,
(c) housing conditions, (d) health, (e) opportunity for advance­
ment, (/) the general competition between white and colored workers.
Following the conference the plan for cooperation and for the sub­
sequent formation and activity of a State committee and subsidiary
county and city committees was perfected. Among the early agen­
cies of cooperation may be mentioned the United States Public
Reserve, the State department of education, the rank and file of
Negro colleges and universities in North Carolina, chambers of com­
merce and the Negro private organizations, including the church.
An initial State committee of 29 substantial Negro citizens from
various sections of the State was formed. The membership of the
State committee and its executive board represent the following
cities: Winston-Salem, Wadesboro, Win ton, Oxford, Charlotte, Hen­
derson, Raleigh, Greensboro, Rocky Mount, Tarboro, Salisbury,
Chadbourn, New Bern, Lumberton, Bricks, Lexington, Durham,
Method, Goldsboro, Wilmington, Wilson, and Asheville, thus bring­
ing into play the influence and forces of the best citizens throughout
the State. This committee was supplemented by interested white
citizens, who became cooperating members.
This State committee and the subsidiary county committee, after
adopting the constitution, started out in their activities under the
supervision of Dr. A. M. Moore, who was appointed Supervisor of
Negro Economics and special agent of the United States Employ­
ment Service. It should be stated that Dr. Moore served the depart­
ment throughout the entire period of the war and the following seven
months as a dollar-a-year man.

The early formation of county and city committees included the
following counties: Guilford, Craven,Vance, Rockingham, Buncombe,
Granville, Forsyth, Beaufort, Durham, Hertford, Alamance, and
Edgecombe, Halifax, and Nash combined. When the work was
closed on June 30, 1919, names had been submitted covering prac­
tically every county in the State.
Inasmuch as the Division of Negro Economics was in the imme­
diate office of the Secretary of Labor, who was also chief adminis­
trative officer for the United States Employment Service as well as
all the other departmental bureaus and divisions, it was practicable
that the North Carolina Negro work, as did the work in other States,
should have a close relationship to the United States Employment
Service in that State. Consequently under the plan of organization
for the State, the Federal Director of the United States Employment
Service became an advisory member of the State Negro Workers'
Advisory Committee. Also a close relationship with the governor,
the chairman of the State Council of Defense, and other white men
acting as advisers to other committees, was perfected and the follow­
ing initial recommendation for North Carolina was gradually worked
out and approved:



THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

99

1.
Workers appointed for special activities among Negro wage earners will work
under the authority of the United States Employment Service to give them official
standing, with cooperation and supervision of the Federal State director.
3. Matters calling for the expenditure of funds shall be submitted with the approval
of the Federal director and with the advice of the Director of Negro Economics.
4. All work carried on which relates to the Employment Service shall be under­
taken with the approval of the Federal State director.

These plans of course were “ overhead” plans, but they covered the
many details which became properly applicable to local committees
in the State as they were found. In order to bring the plans to the
attention of the public the special agent succeeded m getting in close
touch with the white and Negro members throughout the State,
and in making arrangements for a publicity service which would not
conflict with the Information and Education Service of the depart­
ment.
Among some of the earlier problems were found (1) that many
North Carolina laborers had been recruited through employment
agencies and in an indiscriminating way many of the “ shiftless”
and “ unstable” had been imported into North Carolina cities; (2) no
particular opportunity had been offered to thrifty, dependable work­
men to buy homes and to become permanent residents of the State.
In subsequent plans of publicity and contact these two problems
were dealt with by the North Carolina special agent and the close of
the work found at each particular point but a few scattered persons
who might be designated “ shiftless.
The Supervisor of Negro Economics, having business interests of
his own, soon found it necessary to have an assistant who could
actively canvass cities throughout the State. Mr. It. McCants
Andrews was subsequently detailed for such assistance work.
Of the early problems Which he faced there came report of race
friction in a city of eastern North Carolina at a point in which there
were members of the Negro workers' advisory committees. An
investigation was made as to the nature of such race friction
and valuable advice was given both to the employing class and
to the working class, which resulted' in removal of racial fric­
tion. In this connection valuable assistance in the matter of
sentiment was given by a leading North Carolina paper, to
the attention of which was called the value of mediation between
white workers, white employers and Negro workers followed by
a -spirit of conciliation and cooperation and the abilty to see
both sides of any issue. It was pointed out also that the com­
mon interest of the white employer who wants to engage the service
which the Negro wage earner has to offer will make the adjustment o f '
the labor situation a most important one. This paper gave publicity
not only ta the comment above quoted but also to subsequent
comment and advice tending to create a better feeling among the
employing and working classes of North Carolina.
In carrying out the plan of work of the North Carolina committee,
one of the first steps was for the supervisor to inaugurate an educa­
tional campaign wherever practical among Negro workers at the
various points m the State. Short itineraries wqre arranged and the
supervisor was given permission to address groups of workers at
many large plants, with specific health questions, ideals of efficiency
and recreational activities, in order to preserve the morale and com­



100

THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

petency of Negro workers. Although in many instances employers
nad been slow to put on foot similar programs and thereby to bring
about a contented group of workers, there were many leading plants
in the State which had, from the beginning, recognized the need of
such an institution as would make their workers contented. A superin­
tendent of one of the large North Carolina plants had under his su­
pervision about 800 Negro employees, who, in fact, practically made
up one of the small villages of the State. In the early formation of one
of the county committees this superintendent saw a splendid oppor­
tunity presented in being able to link up his plans with the program of
work of the committee. It is of particular interest, in this connection,
to point out some of the early steps which his plant had taken in an
enaeavor to preserve contentment among the workers. It was esti­
mated that the average worker at this plant in the eight-hour day
was earning $100 a month. The work was not exhausting, physi­
cally, and overtime pay was allowed to good workers. The plant
in question was equipped with steel lockers, porcelain washbowls,
shower baths, and other facilities necessary to the comfort and clean­
liness of its workers, white and colored. Within the village row after
row of new houses had been erected. These houses were modem
and sanitary, with running water, sewerage, and electric lights.
They were rented to workers at an extremely low price and many
had been purchased on a ten-year plan which the company had ar­
ranged in order to increase the desire for permanent residence. The
company also paid for a nine-months school for the children of
workers. In the village itself Negroes were engaged in business
enterprises which were largely patronized by workers of this plant.
A modern hospital was in the course of erection and two churches
had been planned.
The local Negro workers’ advisory committee, utider the direction
of the supervisor, assisted this plant in a. further educational camto promote efficiency ana thrift among the Negro workers.
igent and self-respecting workers were solicited and the even­
tual outcome of assistance given by the local committee resulted in
the company’s retaining a permanent social worker who has charge
of a program in behalf of the welfare of these workers.
As the work of the supervisor of Negro economics and the Negro
workers’ advisory committee increased in scope and understanding,
various firms called upon the supervisor and his assistant for advice in
the formation of plans for the higher economic status of their workers.
One exceptionally large plant invited the supervisor and the director of
Negro economics to outline a complete program of welfare for its
Negro employees. Such a plan was made up and submitted, and it
received tne commendation and adoption of the officials of the firm.
In his itineraries the assistant supervisor of Negro economics car­
ried the program of the department into the following cities: Durham,
Badin, Oxford, Henderson, Bricks, Tarboro, Dover, New Bern, Bur­
lington, Lexington, Spencer, Charlotte, Statesville, Hickory, Morganton, Marion, Asheville, Winston-Salem, Salisbury, Kaleigh, and High
Point. At various other points the supervisor and his assistant visited
Negro schools, making addresses and increasing the desire of workers
for greater efficiency and of employers for greater consideration of
their workers.

S




TH E NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

101

So pleased were the governor and other State officials with the
work of the Division of Negro Economics that the governor called,
for June 14, 1919, the annual meeting of the Negro workers’ advisory
committee, at which time the State supervisor submitted his recom­
mendations concerning the work. Inasmuch as that report received
the universal commendation of persons throughout the State, it is
given in full:
[U. S. Department of Labor, Office of Supervisor of Negro Economies for North Carolina, Durham, N. C.]
HOW TO KEEP NEGRO LABOR.

New methods.— How to keep the Negro workers and make them satisfied with their
lot is the problem now presented to the South. It ought not be difficult of solution.
It is not natural for the Negroes to leave their old homes in this wholesale fashion, and
they really do not want to go. Some planters and industrial establishments are already
demonstrating by means of better pay and greater care for their employees what such
considerations will do in keeping the Negroes loyally at work in the South; and the
more efficient Negro schools have for years been pointing the way.
Constructive p ossib ilities— T h e improvement of race relations is a matter of time,
and rests largely on the satisfactory solution of the economic problems of farm life.
Several noteworthy tendencies were, however, noticeably strengthened by*the loss of
N egro labor. The first of these was the tendency of the leaders of the two races to draw
closer together. Several State-wide and county meetings were held to discuss the
migration and the grievances of the Negro. Until more interest is taken in these
meetings by the white leaders, and until they are followed b y constructive programs
for better law enforcement and education they can not measurably influence the
tendency of the Negro to move.
H olding N egro labor on the fa rm .—There is a general agreement that friendly personal
interest, absolutely fair dealing in all business transactions, clear understanding of the
terms of the contract at the outset, itemized statements of indebtedness, good housing,
and encouragement of the Negroes to raise their foodstuffs as far as possible, taken
together, w ill attract and hold labor on farms.
M ajority o f Negroes are workers.— Since the great majority of Negroes are in the working
class, their permanent interests are as laborers, and these interests are in the mainte­
nance of living wages and of good working conditions.
The Negro*s value to North Carolina.—There is no question as to the value of the Negro
to the South; but circumstances are bringing other sections to an appreciation of his
value also and the Negro, too, is coming to uderstand something of nis worth to the
community. If North Carolina would keep the Negro and have him satisfied she
must give more constructive thought than has been her custom to the Negro and his
welfare.
The outline of facts stated above should help us to approach our local problems with
greater understanding, greater sympathy, and a great willingness to cooperate in their
satisfactory adjustment. With this understanding and sympathy we are better able
to appreciate the statesmanlike policy of the Department of Labor in creating and
maintaining the work of Negro economics.
On May 1, 1918, the Secretary of Labor, Hon. William B. Wilson, realizing that the
Negro constitutes about one-seventh of the total working population of the countrv,
appointed a Negro, Dr. George E. Haynes, as advisory to tne Secretary with the title
Director of Negro Economics. This was done in order that the Negro might have a
representative in council whenever matters affecting his welfare were being consi­
dered; and that more extensive plans might be developed for improving his efficiency
and production in agriculture and industry.
There were appointed in four Southern States and five Northern States supervisors
of Negro economics who have established cooperative committees of representative
white and colored citizens to work out together the local labor problems. These
Negro workers’ advisory committees, as they are called, have a program of work which
is carried on b y the colored members, the whites serving as cooperating members. So
successful has the work of the committees proved that the Division of Negro Economics
have been continued for the important work of reconstruction. This work is not
separate from the other work o f the department, but is carried on as an integral
part. The supervisors4are under the authority of the Federal directors of the
United States Employment Service.




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THE NEGRQ AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

North Carolina led the w ay.— On June 19, 1918, Gov. T. W. Bickett, called a con­
ference in his office which was attended by 17 of the most substantial Negro citizens
from all parts of the State and 5 white citizens. Out of this meeting came the plan
of Negro workers’ advisory committees, which is now operating in nine States. A
State Negro workers’ committee of leading Negro men and women of North Carolina
was appointed and plans were formed for the creation of county and city committees.
There were on April 1 of the present year 25 of these committees actively at work in
our State.
The supervisor's report.—The supervisor of Negro Economics for North Carolina and
the assistant supervisor have visited 23 counties since their organization, holding
conferences with leading white and colored citizens which have been most helpful.
On the basis of this personal investigation throughout the State, the supervisor wishes
to present under separate headings, i summary of conditions as found:
W hite em ployers and liberal white citizens.—There is the greatest cordiality and will­
ingness to cooperate upon the part of these persons. In many instances they rivaled
the colored citizens in spirit and enthusiasm. They spoke freely as well as the Ne­
groes, and are asking on every hand to be called upon for cooperation. Some of them
came from the rural districts and from near-by towns to attend the conferences.
Many employers are already offering special inducements to their Negro workers.
For example, a cotton oil company is giving free life insurance for $500 to all who
remain in its employ for six months; many older employees have been given free
insurance for $1,000. Knitting mill companies are carefully selecting colored girls
for their plants and are giving employment at good wages throughout the year. Lum­
ber companies are giving bonuses to men who go to the lumber camps.
The labor situation in North Carolina.—Broadly speaking there is a scarcity of Negro
labor in the State. All the industries are feeling this at present. But a greater
suffering will be felt in the fall when it is time for crop gathering. The farmers are
suffering most. Cotton is standing in the fields in all parts of the State from last year.
It is highly desirable that leaders of white workmen cooperate with our committees.
SPECIAL PROBLEMS INVOLVING NEGRO LABOR.

1. Tobacco, guano, and cotton-oil industries. Tobacco work is seasonal; the wage
are high and no great intelligence is required for much of the work. When the grea
warehouses open, crowds of workers leave year-round industries, often demoralizing
the latter. The work of the industries here mentioned is dirty and does not invite
workers of any particular skill. It is hard to promote cleaniness* efficiency, and thrift
among workers whose lives are haphazard, who come and go through the streets in
their working clothes and who are not generally considered as advanced workers.
2. Many of the seasonal plants run 12-hour shifts, often doubling the work day of
the most faithful employees. This leads to the workers “ laying o ff” on Saturdays
and Mondays. In one 12-hour plant visited the colored workers had “ struck” for
Saturdays off.
3. Lumber camps: In some instances the quarters provided for logging and mill
camps have not attracted respectable workers and their families. ‘ ‘ Floaters” and
crap-shooters were mainly the classes who were willing to go to such camps. Their
work has, of course, not been satisfactory. On the other hand, one concern visited
had made its location a real community and stimulated local pride in it. The manager
of this concern spoke of his success in getting and holding labor of a splendid class in
his little town.
4. Hosiery mills: The plants visited are clean and sanitary, well-lighted, and safe
They pay good wages and run all the year. The owneis are trying to select their
workers carefully and to encourage the development of character. But very few of
them have been highly successful in getting an adequate force; and most of the girls
leave as soon as the tobacco work opens. Some of these plants have never been able
to increase their output; and one of them is still compelled to close on Saturdays
because of a general shortage of girls.
HOW OUR NEGRO W ORKERS’ ADVISORY COMMITTEES CAN MEET THESE PROBLEMS.

In line with our official program of work our committees should—
(1) Promote the efficiency of colored workers in order to overcome the loss from
shortage of labor.
(2) Encourage the use of farm machinery to increase farm production and to create
a surplus of farm labor for use in the harvest time.
(3) Prevail upon white leaders as well as white employers to cooperate with our
committees.




THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

103

(4) Encourage white employers in the tobacco, guano, and cotton oil industries to
make the work as clean and as pleasing as possible. The installation of clothes lockers
and washrooms will impress the workers with the advantage of coming and going from
work in clean clothes.
(5) Advise with employers whose plants are running long hours as to whether
shorter hours will not mean greater efficiency aod greater regularity. Many workers
are now averaging only four days a week; the proportion of ‘ ‘ laying o ff” on Satur­
days and Mondays is distressingly large.
(6) Pay close attention to seasonal plants, following especially shortage and surplus,
and endeavoring to assist in transfer of workers to new jobs as these plants close. The
United States Employment Service should be aided in recruiting Negro workers so
as not to draw away workers from “ year-round” industries. Reports as to shortage
and surplus should be made regularly b y the committeemen to the office of the super­
visor so that colored workers may secure jobs without going great distances.
(7) Suggest to employers of lumber concerns the development of community life
in their camps, with better housing and family settlements.
(8) Call to the attention of steady and capable young women in the community
who are not employed the excellent sanitary condition of the knitting miljs and
opportunity for steady emplovment in them.
f t is urgently hoped that all public spirited citizens of both races who have at heart
the agricultural and industrial expansion of our State, and who realize that such ex­
pansion and development can only come through the improvement of Negro labor
will sustain this far-sighted effort of the Department of Labor and will give active
support to the program of work of the Division of Negro Economics, and to the under­
signed,

A. M. Moo re , M. D .,
Special A gen t and Supervisor
o f N egro E coiiom ics fo r North Carolina ,
Durham , N . C.

June, 1919.

It is deemed to be in place to quote commendations from Hon. T. W .
Bickett, governor of North Carolina, regarding the Negro economics
work in his State:
There is the greatest cordiality and willingness on the part of the white employers
and liberal white citizens to cooperate with the Negroes. In many instances they
rival the colored citizens in spirit and enthusiasm. They speak freely and are asking
on every hand to be called into cooperation. * * *
This report sets out that in many industries and on the farms intelligent efforts are
being made to improve living conditions of the Negro and to afford him every incentive
to put forth his very best efforts. In one plant the committee devised a plan to pub­
lish an honor roll containing the names of all Negroes who worked steadily six days
in the week. Under this system the loafing list was decreased 57 per cent and there
was a corresponding increase in the number of steady workers. * * *
If every man, black and white, in the United States, could read and digest this
report, it would go a great way toward solving all our questions. I shall keep and use
this report as a basis for m y future work. * * *

The Chief Justice of the State, the Federal Director of the United
States employment Service and a number of employers all expressed
themselves as profoundly impressed with the scope and character
of the work done by the committee.
The North Carolina Farmers' Conference on Labor Problems, held
at Bricks, N. C., April 21/1919, brought to the attention of the
department its report and recommendations made to the State Negro
workers' advisory committee concerning farm labor questions as they
affected Negroes in the State. This report and its recommendations
are deemed to be of sufficient importance to justify its inclusion in
this report, and attention is therefore called to the specific conditions
and recommendations of the farmers' conference.
i




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THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

1. Greater use of farm machinery:
(a) This committee should encourage greater use of farm machinery as a means
of creating a surplus of farm labor.
1. The State and Federal governments should be urged to aid the farmers
in securing farm tractors, ditchers, tobacco setters, potato planters,
and other needed implements.
2. The owners of adjoining farms should be encouraged to purchase ma­
chinery jointly.
2. Cooperative undertakings:
(a) Progressive farmers are running cooperative cotton gins, sawmills, and
warehouses and are purchasing guano and fertilizer together. Such
efforts are not only meritorious as business enterprises: they often help
the farmer to market his products quickly, obtain a money surplus, ana
improve his farm.
(b) Cooperative harvesting should be encouraged in order to save the crops.
This practice already exists in some communities.
3. Improvement© farm life:
/ a ) Ever^r possible encouragement should be given to the improvement of farm

4.

5.

6.

7.

1. Tins committee shall cooperate with organizations forwarding “ afterthe-war” programs to render rural life more pleasant and profitable.
2. Plantation owners and farmers who employ Negro enants hould be
urged to provide them with good homes.
3. Full information concerning Government Farm Loans should be
secured and given to the farmers.
4. Athletics and outdoor sports and all forms of regulated amusements
should be encouraged, as well as indoor entertainments at schools
and churches for winter evenings.
Student farm labor:
(a) It should be the aim of this committee to divert such student labor from the
cities, for the summer vacations, as can be more profitably employed
on the farms.
1. Many students are now realizing from $300 to $500 on two (2) acres of .
tobacco, having sufficient time left to do general farm work also.
2. Children of farm owners or tenants farming on their own account should
be encouraged to remain at home, and parents and employers who
receive the services of students should make such settlements with
them as will adequately provide for the next year’s schooling.
Distribution of labor:
(а) Efforts should be made to recruit workers for the farms when seasonal indus­
tries close in the cities.
(б) Cooperate with the nearest United States Employment Service office.
Education:
(а) White farmer and employer:
1. White farmers and employers of Negro farm labor should be urged to
cooperate with Negro farmers in promoting the common interests of
the rural communities.
(б) Negro farmer and farm laborer:
1. Negro farmers and farm laborers should be urged to cooperate with
white farmers and employers in promoting the common interests of
the rural communities.
2. Lectures in colored churches and lodges on modem farm methods, use
of farm machinery, improvement of farm life, race pride, industry
and thrift, etc.
3. Farmers’ conferences.
4. “ Buy-a-farm” movement.
Farm demonstrators:
(a) City and county officials should be urged to provide funds for the appoint­
ment of Negro farm demonstrators.
(b) The breeding of registered live stock should be extended under the direction
of the county farm demonstrators.
(c) Surveys should be made as to shortage and surplus of labor before planting
and harvesting crops so that acreage might be reduced or extended and
crops saved.




CHAPTER X V I.
REPORT OF WORK IN OHIO.
The number of Negro migrants who settled in the principal indus­
trial centers of Ohio were large. Estimates secured upon visits to those
centers by investigators of the Department of Labor in 1917 give some
definite notion o f these numbers. The following figures, of course,
are largely general estimates and probably should be double, and,
in some cases, increased to a large extent as of September 1, 1919.
Cleveland......................................................................................................................... 10,000
Cincinnati........................................................................................................................ 6,000
Columbus..............................
3,000
Dayton...........................
3,000
Toledo............................................................................................................................... 3,000
Canton.............................................................................................................................. 3,000
Akron................................................................................................................................ 3,000
•
Middletown...................................................................................................................... 1,000
Camp Sherman, Chillicothe.............................; ................. ....................................... 2,000
Portsmouth............................................................ ................................................ .•
-----300
Baltimore & Ohio camps...................................................
400
Pennsylvania Railroad camps......................................................................................
800
Contractors....................................... .............................................................................. 1,000
Traction companies........................................................................................................ 1,000
T otal.......................................................................................................................................137,500

It will be noticed that Alliance, Bellaire, Hamilton, Ironton, Lima,
Springfield, Steubenville, Youngstown, and Zanesville were not
included in this survey. These points, as well as other cities,
contained a large mimber of iron, steel, coal, coke, and other
industries which called for the kind of labor which Negroes were
readily able to supply. As the figures indicate, large numbers
of Negroes migrated into Ohio and were'distributed over it generally.
Therefore, this State received early consideration in the program of
the Department of Labor.
Organization—Supervisor o f Negro economics.—The departmental
State supervisor of Negro economics, Charles E. Hall, was appointed
with the view of general efficiency, to the department and to the State
of Ohio. For more than 18 years Mr. Hall had been an employee of
the Bureau of the Census in the United States Department of Com­
merce, and had had considerable experience in field work. He had
supervised the gathering and preparation of statistical material relat­
ing to the manufacturing interests and to the Negro population in the
United States. He had received special commendation from the
Department of Commerce for this work. During 1916, the early
period of Negro migration to the North, Mr. Hall had been detailed
to the Department of Labor for field investigations. His valuable
work in a report of more than ordinary worth, served as a basis for
first steps by the Department of Labor.i
i Negro Migration in 1916-1917, Appendix to report of Francis E. Tyson.
Office, Washington.




Government Printing

105

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THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

Being a native of the Middle West, Mr. Hall enjoyed a wide con­
tact with public officials and representative citizen, through whom
it was believed the fullest cooperation could be obtained. He took
the field in Ohio on June 17,1918, just preceding the State conference.
The later success of his work gave substantial indorsement to the
judgment of the department in assigning him to Ohio.
Conference on Negro labor.— Following the assignment of Super­
visor Hall to the State, under the auspices of the United States
Employment Service, plans for the Ohio conference on Negro labor
were started with the hearty cooperation of both State ana Federal
officials, the State Council of National Defense and a number of
private citizens and agencies. Special mention should be made of the
personal interest and attention of Gov. James M. Cox and Mr. Fred D.
Croxton, chairman of the State Council of National Defense.
The conference was called by the Department of Labor to get
action upon those things that needed to be done in Ohio to pro­
mote the welfare of wage erners, and to stimulate the production for
winning the war. Dr. F. L. Hagerty, professor of sociology, Ohio
State university, presided. After considerable discussion and a num­
ber of addresses the body of the work of the conference was done,
through committees, reports from which were adopted for the further
guidance.of the department’s work in the State.
Some of the committees’ recommendations were as follows;
1. Investigation into the difficulties arising from discrimination against Negroes
by local labor unions.
2. Efforts to stabilize labor b y giving new opportunities for promotion, by standardiz­
ing wages, b y reclassifying work, by the employment of colored foremen, and by
educational work among the working classes with the view of making them satisfied
with their occupations.
3. An endeavor to employ the Negro worker in full accordance with his fitness.
4. The opening of new places of employment in keeping with the fitness of Negro
wage-earners.
5. The conducting of welfare work in plants and factories.
6. The setting up of facilities for community recreation.
7. Increased attention to rooms, lockers, ventilation, and adequate space for em­
ployees.
8. Special attention to health problems.

The committee on industrial conditions reported to the conference
that there was sufficient work to be secured in the State for Negro
laborers in industry doing Government and other work and that the
Negro laborers were generally reliable. It also reported that in some
industries there was discrimination as to the kinds of work and con­
ditions under which the work was done with reference to Negro
laborers. The committee stated that the demand for labor was more
than the supply and in order that the Government might get the
greatest return out of the amount of the actual and potential energy
of the Negro workmen it was recommended that where skilled Negro
laborers were doing unskilled work because of their inability to secure
work at the skilled trades on account of color that the Government
adopt rules for governmental contracts and make a special effort to
see that every such man be given the opportunity to do that for
which he was best fitted. The final recommendation of this com­
mittee closed with the averment that "race or color should be no bar
to advancement.”



TH E NEGRO AT WORK DURING TH E WORLD WAR.

107

The committee on organization adopted with modifications to meet
local conditions for use in Ohio the form of constitution for the Negro
workers’ advisory committee which the department had developed.
The committee on Negro women in industry submitted a report on
this subject of such special importance for future procedure that it
is reproduced here in full :
1. We, as a committee, recommend that a Negro woman be placed on the State
committee of women in industry, recently* named by the Ohio Branch, Council of
National Defense.
2. We, as a committee, recommend that the United States Employment Service
place Negro placement secretaries in any employment office where numbers of colored
women seek employment, to be determined b y the State director.
3. We, as a committee, recommend that we indorse the standard which the women’s
committee, Ohio Branch, Council of National Defense, have drawn up through the
committee on women in industry.
4. We recommend that this committee bring to the attention of the national com­
mittee on housing any housing conditions as they affect Negro women.
5. We recommend that a pamphlet be drawn up stating the necessity of loyalty to
duty and efficiency on the part of the worker, ana the financial loss entailed through
the neglect of such, upon the part of the employer and community, be given each
worker through the employment office.
6. We, as a committee, recommend that a woman be placed on the committee of
hygiene and sanitation, if the committee appointed this morning is a standing com­
mittee.
7. We recommend that no worker shall be permitted to leave her present employ­
ment without giving a week or more notice before being accepted b y another employer.
8. We recommend and urge that a Negro welfare worker be placed in industries
over Negro women as a solution to the employers’ problem of adjustment.
9. W e recommend the encouragement of an adequate system of training within
plants which recognizes the difference between showing and teaching for all new
employees.
Respectfully submitted.
Miss Jennie D. P orter,
Chairman, Omdnnati, Ohio.
v
Miss E lsie Mountain,
Secretary, Cohm bus, Ohio.

Hon. James M. Cox, governor of Ohio, was present at the confer­
ence and made the closing address, which included the following
remarks:
I have no disposition to interfere with your deliberations, but upon the statement
of Dr. Haynes, with whom I have had a brief but delightful conference with reference
to the earnestness of this meeting and the fact that it seems to be the most serious, if
not the most successful, meeting that has been held in any of the States, I felt that we
would be derelict in our responsibility to the duties that come and go each day, as
governor of this State, if I did not come here and express m y appreciation of your
coming.
First, we need your people and need them badly in the war. We, likewise, need
your people and need them badly in the industrial life of this country.
Last winter I had the privilege of visiting Tuskegee Institute. I had a long visit
with that splendid type oi your race, Dr. Moton. The opportunity was mine of making
a survey o f what was being done at this institute. I took pains to make considerable
inquiry with reference to national and industrial conditions in the State of Alabama,
ana I am prepared to say, in the candor of m y own judgment, at least, that you, as
representatives of the race, are just now coming into your own. Even in the Southern
States, when the great flow started northward, the southern people found they could
n otg et along without the colored people.
The war gives you a great opportunity. I can say with pride, now, and reiterate
it all through the corridor of time, that not a single member of your race is following
the standard of the Kaiser. I have had the opportunity of reviewing colored troops,
and I hope you will not feel that l am speaking flippantly when I recall the circum­
stances of reviewing the troops at Camp Sherman. Capt. Talbott, with Gen. Glenn’s
staff, came over to the reviewing stand and said: “ I nave just left the colored regi­
ment, and they are so full of pep that if they do not dance the cakewalk when they




108

THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

come by, I will be surprised.” They presented the best line of the day—it was
generally conceded to be the best line of the day by the general, the persons in the
reviewing stand, and the thousands of white people w ho were assembled there. I
hope that when the war is over we can then join together members of our race and
yours in helping to work out in Ohio what they have in Alabama.
The colored man is here, and here to stay, and since that is true we not only want
to improve the educational opportunities that come to him but we also want to give
attention to vocational training. * * * I want you to carry home to those you
represent the assurance that whatever help this State can render, either to the people
in your State or to the soldiers at the frojnt, needs but an evidence of your desire.

The Department of Labor takes this special opportunity to thank
every agency and every individual who helped to make successful the
Ohio conference August 5, 1919.
Negroes workers' advisory committees.— Immediately after the confer­
ence, Supervisor Hall, with the assistance of public-spirited citizens
of Ohio, recommended to the department a number of the strongest
persons for appointment to service on the State Negro workers' ad­
visory committee, and to local, county, and city committees of 25
important centers of the State where rfegro workers in considerable
numbers resided. The complete personnel of the State committee
follows:
Edward Berry, Athens; Leroy W. Bobbins and Chas. C. Cowgill,
Middletown; Chas. L. Johnson and Chas. P. Dunn, Springfield; R ob­
ert K. Hodges, D. R. Williams, Alexander H. Martin, and (Miss)
Hazel Mountain, Cleveland; Chas. W. Bryant, Harry B. Alexander,
J. H. Hendrick, and (Mrs.) E. W. Moore, Columbus; J. E. Ormes,
Wilberforce; R. E. Holmes, Xenia; F. D. Patterson, Greenfield;
Joseph L. Jones, H. S. Dunbar, Fred. A. Geier, and (Miss) Anna Laws,
Cincinnati; B. M. Ward, B. H. Fisher, and (Mrs.) Minnie Scott,
Toledo; Rev. W. O. Harper, and T. E. Milliken, Youngstown; H. T.
Elliott, Dayton; Rev. A. M. Thomas, Zanesville; (Mrs.) Stephen Bates,
Chillicothe; James French, Sandusky; T. E. Greene, Akron.
Persons serving on these committees did so at the special request
of the Secretary of Labor, and, in but one or two instances, where
the appointees were confronted with extreme pressure of business,
were the invitations declined. Throughout the work the patriotism
and spirit of service of the citizenship of Ohio made possible the suc­
cessful carrying out of virtually every plan which the department
launched, and the Ohio committee, like similar committees in 10
other States, assisted in the handling of industrial problems with a
maximum degree of satisfaction.
Surveys o f labor conditions.—The general industrial conditions in
Ohio were investigated either by the supervisor directly or by the
committee members, who reported to the supervisor on a form of
blank, of which the following is a copy:
NEGRO WAGE EARNERS IN OHIO.

In form ation fo r supervisor o f N egro econom ics.
To members o f cou nty and city com m ittees o f Negro workers' advisory com m ittee.

Please fill out blank and return.
1. Are there many out of work in your city or county? --------- .
2. Have many been released during the past 30 days? --------- .
3. If so, were they absorbed by other occupations? --------- .
4. Have any new avenues of employment been opened? --------- .
5. If so, state the kind of work. --------- .




TH E NEGRO AT WORK* DURING TH E WORLD WAR.

109

Remarks.
(Under “ Remarks” please furnish the supervisor with any other information which
you think should be brought to his attention.)
Information furnished b y .......................................
A d d ress:.......................................
Date: ..............................................

The first general survey developed the following facts:
The Negro workers had not been greatly disturbed because of the
many industrial readjustments and temporary suspensions of the
manufacturing enterprises not essential to winning the war, during
the war and preceding the signing of the armistice.
The counties of Hamilton, Lucas, and Montgomery, whose principal
cities are Cincinnati, Toledo, and Dayton, respectively, were largely
engaged on war contracts. In Toledo the opportunities for employ­
ment were steadily improving. Local industries in Cleveland, Co­
lumbus, Youngstown, Akron, Canton, Lima, Delaware, Greenville,
Steubenville, Zanesville, ChiJlicothe, Sandusky, Portsmouth, Mari­
etta, and other centers were employing large numbers of Negro work­
ers. In Butler County, the American Rolling Mills were giving em­
ployment to hundreds of workers. In Lima, the Swift Packing Co. was
giving employment to Negro men and women, who were making good.
In Youngs town, Mahoning County, an increasing number of elevator
girls and male truck drivers were given employment.
In Dayton a large firm was making calls for considerable numbers
of Negro laborers. This company was able to guarantee prospective
workers housing facilities of the better type. Columbus reported a
garment manufacturer who was unable to get a sufficient number of
Negro women who could operate power machines. Youngstown re­
ported insufficient wages ($9 and $10 a week) for girls. Dayton reported
an industry using from 15 to 30 colored women, sorting rags on a piece­
work basis, at $15 per week.
Job selling.— Among the special conditions found in Ohio was one
which related to job selling in industrial establishments; and there is
incorporated herein a full report of the Ohio supervisor respecting
this condition, evidences of which were very apparent. This report
was approved by the Director of Negro Economics and sent to ad­
visory committeemen in all parts of the State.
JOB SELLING IN INDUSTRIAL ESTABLISHMENTS TO NEGROES.

To prevent job selling b y foremen, assistant foremen, “ straw bosses” and “ gobetweens” a very comprehensive bill was enacted b y the last General Assembly
upon the recommendation of the Industrial Commission of Ohio, the penalty being
as follows:
“ Section 2. Whoever violates any provision of this act shall be fined for the first
offense not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars and the
costs of prosecution; and for the second or any subsequent offense not less than two
hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars and the costs of prosecution.”
“ S e c t i o n 6. The Industrial Commission of Ohio shall have full power, jurisdic­
tion,.and authority to administer the provisions of this act.”
Before the migration of Negroes from the South had reached a considerable vol­
ume, the foreign-born wage earners were the ones who were the victims of this per­
nicious system and the Department of Investigation and Statistics secured definite
information that the collection of fees for jobs, or assessments of various kinds b y
foremen was a well-established custom in many of the industrial establishments
through the State. It was found at the time the investigation was made that the
price paid to foremen was generally $15, $20, or $25 for a job paying approximately 25
cents per hour, and that the custom appeared to have become so well established that




110

TH E NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

no demand for payment needed to be made as the applicant understood that he must
make a payment of money before he got the work.
Definite information was secured b y the department to the effect that the shrewd
foreman seldom received the money directly from the applicant, but usually had a
number of men who acted as “ go-betweens” and who were generally “ straw bosses”
or workmen.
This system of petty graft became so pronounced and the demands of the grafters
became so insistent that the investigators experienced no great difficulty in securing
the evidence upon which a number of indictments were made under the old law
relating to private employment agencies which was not broad enough in scope, how­
ever, to fit the entire situation.
The new law includes the acceptance of fees, gifts or gratuities, or promises to pay
a fee or to make a gift under the agreement or with the understanding that the grafter
will undertake to secure or assist in securing work for the applicant, or with the under­
standing that he will advance or undertake to secure or assist in securing an advance
in pay or prevent or undertake to prevent or assist in preventing the discharge or
reduction m pay or position of the worker in the employ of the company. The law
which was enacted b y the eighty-second general assembly covers all of these points
and carries with it the penalty indicated above.
There are indication that there has been a revival of the practice of job selling, but
that instead of working on the foreigners, the grafters have turned their attention to
the helpless, ignorant, and destitute Negroes who are coming from the South to seek
opportunities to better their condition, and it is not unlikely that the system of job
selling in industrial establishments in Ohio will again be investigated as the practice
is not only unlawful and highly dishonorable but has a tendency to destroy the morale
of the workers and thereby seriously affect production. All such cases should be
reported.
Charles E. H all ,
Supervisor o f Negro Economics.

Approved.
(Signed)

G eorge E. H a yn e s ,
D irector o f Negro Economics.

Living conditions o f Negro workers.— It was the experience of the
department that unfavorable living conditions, more than anything
else, made difficult the advancement of the Negro worker in effi­
ciency and increased contentment. At times the housing conditions
were due to lack of employment; at times the conditions were due to
lack of pride on the part of the worker ; and at times the boarding­
house keeper of the low type set up conditions which necessity forced
the working men to accept.
As to the latter class, in one instance Supervisor Hall reported as
fellows:
October 11, 1918.
Dr. G eorge E. H a yn es ,
Director o f Negro Econom ics , Department o f Labor , Washington , D . C.

D ear Si r : On the evening of October 9, 1918, I visited the boarding and lodging
house conducted b y ---------------------, a colored man, for t h e ----------C o .,---------- , Ohio.
This very dilapidated two-story frame building h located a t --------- Street, and
is known a s --------- . It is the most filthy boarding and lodging house that has
come under m y observation. A foul-smelling closet adjoins the unclean dining
room. I noticed broken windows upstairs in the sleeping quarters, and in the
south wing even the skylights were without glass or other protection from the
elements.
There is no shower or bathroom for the 42 men who occupy this house, and it has
been found necessary to borrow a washtub from the neighbors to accommodate the
men who wish to take a bath. The place is heated b y small stoves and natural gas
heaters and the building is lighted by electricity. The kitchen was fairly clean but
the range had no hot-water boiler, which greatly inconveniences the cooks and other
kitchen help as well as the boarders.
A number of the dirty sunken floors need jacking up and the rooms would not be
less attractive if they were painted or whitewashed. Although there are a few new
bed mattresses, I found most of them alarmingly filthy w ith bed coverings in the same




THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING TH E WORLD WAR.

I ll

condition. Although there are plenty of rooms in the house, many of them are unfur­
nished. Upon inquiry I was informed that the men coming off the night shift are
obliged to occupy the rooms just vacated b y the men going on the day shift. In
some instances four of five men sleep in a room about 10 b y 32 at the same time. Some
of the bed springs are worn out, necessitating the sleeper to lie in most uncomfortable
positions, regardless of the fact that he has been working hard and that the efficiency
of his work depends largely upon comfortable repose. There is no assembly room,
music (except nickel-in-the-slot piano), pool, billiards, or books.
For these most inferior accommodations the men are charged $7.25 per week for
room and board as compared with $4.55 per week charged b y t h e --------- Co.,
located in the same city and within a few blocks. T h e ----------Co. maintains a large
hoarding and lodging house, known as “ T h e --------- , ” which is now being papered,
painted, and generally overhauled.
In my opinion, t h e --------- is extremly insanitary and a disease breeder, a condition
which could not have escaped the attention of the local officials of the company, one
of whom visits the house daily for the purpose of checking up.
These conditions are doubtless the causes of the large turnover and inefficiency of
the colored workers of this company.
Respectfully,
Charles E. H all ,
Supervisor o f Negro Economics, Ohio.

This report was approved Ly the Director of Negro Economics fo r
submission to the general manager of t h e ----------Company. Sub­
sequent action by the company m the renovation of this place and
change of these conditions followed the receipt of this report by him.
Critical housing conditions in Cleveland, together with other
economic problems, gave to that city a special need which the depart­
ment planned to give attention to through a local representative
member of the Negro workers' advisory committee. This plan, how­
ever, was delayed and finally given up because of necessary changes
in the policy of the department.
Acute housing conditions were found also at Akron, Cleveland,
Dayton, Lima, rortsmouth, Toledo, and Youngstown; and, subse­
quently, the Department of Labor, through the United States Housing
Corporation, had surveys made in several of these cities, but the sud­
den termination of the war, accompanied by a readjustment of the
industries to a peace-time basis, threw a great many persons out of
work and the housing condition was somewhat relieved through the
general exodus of Negro and white wage earners to other localities
within and without the State where there was a shortage of labor and
where adequate housing facilities obtained. ^ One permanent result
in stimulatmg building and loan associations is fully described below.
The failure of congressional appropriations for the furtherance of
the Negro economics work unfavorably affected the industrial progress
of this class of wage earners who had watched with increasing interest
the development of this new agency which was established to better
their industrial welfare and to act as a clearing house for industrial
opportunities. Men were no longer obliged to live in idleness, because
they were able at all times to learn through the supervisor where
work could be obtained, the rate of wages, the horns of labor, and the
attitude of the residents o f any community toward Negro labor.
Negro professional men, skilled and unskilled workers, and others,
freely communicated with the Director of Negro Economics and with
the State supervisor for the purpose of securing a location or an
opportunity m a community where conditions were favorable to their
prosperity, and the failure of appropriations to provide for the
continuance of this field work was keemy felt.



112

THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

Discrimination in occupations on account of color was one of the
conditions which, in some instances, confronted the Negro worker.
The Ohio Conference on Negro Labor made recommendations on this
point. Whether such discriminations were approved by private or
public employers made a difference in the action which the depart­
ment coula take. The private employer might hire whomsoever he
chose. Aside from an appeal for justice and fair play on his part,
the department was unable to take any specific action in such cases.
Where such discriminations, however, were alleged to exist within
the ranks of employers who because of war contracts or other rela­
tions came under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government, investi­
gations were made and definite steps taken to remove such discrimi­
nations.
Com plaints. —Complaints, other than those noted above, were
generally of three types:
1. Discrimination in the matter of opportunities for the Negro
worker.
2. Unfair treatment of the Negro worker by employers.
3. Inefficiency of the Negro workers.
On the whole, there was a minimum amount of complaint in Ohio
either by employer or employee. The stamp of efficiency was often
placed upon the Negro worker, and the Negro worker often recog­
nized the effort on the part of employers assuring to him equal pay,
equal hours, recreation facilities, pleasant relations with white
workers, and decent living conditions.
R esu lts .—Under the supervision of the United States Employment
Service, the State supervisor of Negro economics made direct reports
of placement of Negro workers to the Federal director. He assisted
the employment offices throughout the State with their problems of
placing Negro workers. Reports of the United States Employment
Service give him the recognition for this help. Placements were
many and varied. Services were frequently rendered to firms which
had not formerly employed Negro workers. Following the signing
of the armistice and the resulting nonemployment situation the efforts
for the returning Negro soldiers and sailors were carried along side by
side with the efforts of the Federal and State machinery for the
employment of all persons.
An outstanding ieature of the Ohio work was the project of fur­
thering the organization of building and loan associations among
Negroes of the State as one concrete means of remedying the housing
situation. In a letter dated May 8, 1919, which was given State­
wide publicity, Supervisor Hall made the following points:
1. Industrial opportunities in Ohio are ever opening.
2. The housing facilities offered to Negro workers are inadequate.
3. Negro people themselves should make some of the financial
arrangements for meeting the housing situation.
4. Overcrowded and insanitary housing conditions destroy the
efficiency of the worker.
5. The home owner is ever a permanent working factor, con­
tributing to the growth of the State and to its civic and
commercial progress.
Thereafter Supervisor Hall compiled, from the Laws of Ohio, a
skeleton outline of the statutes regulating the organizing and con­
ducting of building and loan associations. He also formed a plan



THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

113

and model constitution for such associations among colored people
of the several localities. This outline of laws and plans was placed
in the hands of members of the Negro yorkers’ advisory commit­
tees and of special groups in the cities and counties throughout the
State having a considerable Negro population. This was supplemented
bv talks made by the supervisor to interested groups m various
laces. Wilberforce University gave special courses of lectures on
uilding and loan matters in three centers of the State. So numerous
became the requests for additional information that the supervisor
found it necessary to prepare a model form of constitution and Iby-laws
for distribution. In rapid succession building and loan associations
were organized in several Ohio cities where they are greatly needed.
Requests for the “ Ohio plan” were also made by persons living in
Colorado, District of Columbia, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, and
New York, and several associations in these States have since been
organized. All are reported to be doing good business financially
and are helping to alleviate the housing conditions. Companies in
other places are proposed and will doubtless be launched.
In carrying out the purpose with which it was charged by Congress,
the Department of Labor has steadfastly been a neutral adminis­
trator regarding union and nonunion workers, and has endeavored
to promote alike the interests of all workers, white and colored, male
ana female, union and nonunion. With this in view, the department
has sought to keep fully informed of the attitude of labor orgariiza-'
tions toward Negroes in territories where the question is a vital one
for amicable relations of the two races in industry.
Consequently, statement of the change in the attitude of organized
labor in Ohio during this period is of special note. The copy of a
letter of Mr. Thomas J. Donnelly, secretary-treasurer, Ohio Federa­
tion of Labor, outlining the attitude of that organization in the
matter of unionizing Negro wage earners covers this important point:

E

Columbus. Ohio , January 22, 1919.
Mr. Chas . E. H all ,
Supervisor o f Negro Economics,
Department o f Labor, Columbus, Ohio.
D ear Mr. H a ll : Supplementing our conversation recently upon the subject of
Negro labor and the unionizing of colored men in this section of the country, I am
writing you that at this time best results would be obtained, in my opinion, if efforts
should be made to bring into the union those colored men who were born and edu­
cated in the North, where through contact and association with the whites they have
formed the same viewpoint on industrial affairs, see the same necessity for a sustained
effort, have the same “ p ep,” and the same determination to protect their rights as
yrage earners and as citizens. These men can be taken in by the organizations rep­
resenting both the skilled and unskilled branches of the labor unions, and I believe
that no great objection would be found, especially if in communities where there are
large numbers of both white and colored, distinct locals were organized; but where
there are only a few whites or a few colored men following the same trade it would be
advisable for them to belong to the same local. A possible objection to a m ixed local
in communities where there are large numbers of doth races employed in the same
line of work is that both elements might vote along the color line upon questions of
organization and. policies. This of course would have a tendency to aestroy the
solidarity of the organization and to discount its work. I believe that once these
colored workers were fairly well organized they would be a valued aid in organizing
the illiterate ones who have migrated from the South and give them a clearer view of
northern ideals and the responsibilities accompanying citizenship.
While it has been my experience that colored men as a rule make good union men, v
I do not think that the colored agricultural illiterates from the South are adaptable
to skilled industry and membership in unions of the skilled white workers.
1989°—21-— 8




114

THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

Negroes reared in Ohio, having the advantage of the public schools in the State,
should be adaptable to skilled industry and no doubt could secure membership in the
unions of the skilled white workers or have separate organizations chartered by the
international trades-unions. Places could possibly be found for a number of southern
colored agricultural illiterates at common labor and in semiskilled trades. They
would then be eligible to membership in the unions of the workers in these lines of
industry.
Improved machinery has greatly lessened the demand for muscle, but at the same
time has increased the demand for men who are trained to use their heads as well as
their hands.
A great number of accidents in the Ohio factories and mills during the past few
years has largely been due to the employment of illiterate foreigners from southern
Europe, who formerly followed agricultural pursuits, and the employment of large
numbers of Negroes of the same class from the South would result, no doubt, in a like
number of accidents. Until they become factory broken, more punctual and depend­
able in attendance, more intelligent, and more accustomed to the northern method
of living they will not really constitute an asset of large value to skilled industry.
Yours, very truly, '
'
T hos . J. D onnelly ,
Secretary- Treasurer, Ohio State Federation o f Labor.

In closing the work in Ohio, after the failure of appropriations,
Supervisor Hall gave the following statement of concrete results of
his efforts:
1. The growth and stimulation of the opinion among colored workers that the Gov­
ernment has recognized them industrially, that they now have a medium through
which to voice their* complaints, and that because of the moral effect of such recog­
nition they will be less subject to exploitation.
2. A more helpful attitude on the part of employers and a less hostile one on the
part of white wage earners brought about through contact with colored members of
committees.
3. The gradual elimination of racial objection at “ the g a te/ or point of hiring,
through the cultivation of superintendents, managers, and directors of employment.
4. The announcement of the official attitude of the Ohio State Federation of Labor
concerning skilled and unskilled Negro labor.
5. The increase in efficiency and decrease in labor turnover brought about through
the knowledge or belief that they would be given a “ square deal” industrially.
6. The awakening of Negroes, through the circulation of frequent State-wide re-,
ports, to the industrial opportunities open to them.
7. The location, through questionnaires sent to county committees, of points where
a surplus or shortage of Negro labor obtained, and the adjustment of these conditions,
when possible, through the Clearance Division of the United States Employment
Service.
8. The placing of movable wooden racks on cold cement floors of shower baths in
several industrial plants in order to encourage a more frequent use of the bath.
9. The closing of several dilapidated, filthy, disease-breeding Negro boarding and
lodging houses maintained by large manufacturing companies. The personal in­
spection of other lodging houses, camps, etc.
10. The creation of a better understanding of the functions of the Department of
Labor, and a greater appreciation of governmental agencies brought about through
the efforts of the State and county Negro worker’s advisory committees.
11. The development of cooperative groups through the encouragement and* in­
formation given to committees m communities where the organization of a building
and loan association would be both practicable and advisable.
12. The appointment of several colored “‘ labor scouts” whose efficient work in
congested industrial centers was of great value to the service and to the Negro wage
earners.

The opinions and attitude of white and colored citizens of Ohio
on the work of Negro economics in that State show some­
thing of its effect. A few excerpts from the communications to the
department are given below:
Your circular with reference to Negro economics in Ohio under date of December
14th was received by us and read with lively interest. Any further c ommunication
or publication you may have on this subject I am sure will be appreciated. We are
interested in this problem as you are, and desire to help in its solution so far as it is
possible for us to do so.




THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

115

I am glad to know that your work is progressing satisfactorily. I sincerely hope
that we will continue to hold our own industrially, and that the Government will
continue to cooperate with us and allow us representation in the Department of
Labor.
I shall be glad to cooperate with you to the extent of my ability in trying to bring
about the conditions we both desire during readjustment.
I received your circular, and most heartily welcome its coming. Words are in ­
adequate to express my appreciation. Please let the good thing continue to come
this way.
The work you are in calls for a first-class race man’s efforts, and I believe that you
should be retained with the Government in the same capacity. I am pleased to
have met you, to have learned of your work, and to have been brought in touch with
it, and I believe you will be successful.
I am glad you have, completed your organization, and I assure you you have my
full support.
In returning your information blank, I would state that the United States Employ­
ment Service is filling a long-felt need among our people, and that your methods
meet my approval and will receive my earnest support. Let me hear from you at
any time.
Congratulations on your report. Keep it up. Just simply the information is a
tremendous factor in cementing the race, ana that means ultimate solidarity and
success.
Your very concise and yet informative letter relative to labor and labor conditions
among the Negroes came to hand. It is a splendid document. Y ou are to be congrautlated upon its production, for in it you have at your finger tips the best and most
information it has been my good fortune to receive relative tQ the Negro in this im­
portant field of endeavor in Ohio. I wish you continued success in all your efforts.
I thank you for the circular letter concerning} the readjustment of Negro labor.
Keep me posted, and if I can serve you, call on me.
We have also got good service from the United States Employment Service, and
Mr. Hall, State supervisor, is doing a great work'.
I wish to congratulate you upon the excellent work you are doing in Ohio for the
industrial advancement of our people. We all appreciate the opportunity to coop­
erate with you and the Department of Labor.
Your letter with the inclosed statement marked “ Personal, not for publication”
has been received. We are grateful to )o u for your kindness in sending this infor­
mation.I
I wish to advise you that as a result of your efforts here in Cincinnati to organize a
building and loan association managed b y colored men, we have the Industrial Sav­
ings & Loan Co., incorporated for $300,000, which commenced doing business January
31. We will# prepared to make our first loan within the next week or 10 days ana
be
our prospects are very bright for a large and growing company.




CHAPTER XVn.
REPORT OF WORK IN PENNSYLVANIA.
Pre war Conditions.— Negro labor can not be said to have enjoyed
any abnormal inclusion in Pennsylvania industries. The historical
and political development of Pennsylvania has not been such as to
attract a large Negro population. Pennsylvania labor was probablv
formed, largely, by foreigners comprised of the so-called “ Hunkie”
laborer in the unskilled and semiskilled occupations. The skilled
class was probably made up of American labor which developed in
Pennsylvania along with the development of industry and which
was supplemented, under the law of demand and supply, by skilled
artisans and mechanics who came into Pennsylvania from other
centers. Even the Negro*mining class had been employed, previous
to the war, in fairly large proportions in Pennsylvania mining dis­
tricts of the southwestern section. In the Pittsburgh district,
more than in any other section, the Negro worker, before the war,
probably enjoyed a greater inclusion into all branches of labor than
he did at any other point in the State.
The Pittsburgh Negro had long since become a very desirable
citizen, a competent worker, and a thrifty individual. In the steel
mills at Pittsburgh, “ rollers” and other types of workers were em­
ployed at salaries sometimes as large as $250 per month. These
persons maintained good homes and contributed to a high type of
civic life in Pittsburgh. Now and then a technical worker from
some of the best American universities was in a supervisory position
in a sted m ill.
Indusmal advances during ike war.— With the stress of war the
great industries of Pennsylvania, through sheer necessity, became
objective centers of a tremendously large mass of workers. The
never-failing law of demand and supply was exercising great influ­
ence in drawing laborers. To the Negro worker, whether he came
from locations within the State of Pennsylvania or other Northern
States, or from the South, which was pouring into northern indus­
tries its thousands of Negro migrants, the influence of the law of
demand and supply was very effective. Consequently Negro labor
of every type was drawn into employment in Pennsylvania, from
Philadelphia to Pittsburgh.
When the Division of Negro Economics was established, the plans
of the Secretary of Labor called for the development of this work of
the Negro, choosing first the points of the greatest needs in different
sections of the country. For this reason the work of the division
was somewhat delayed in its beginning in Pennsylvania.
The machinery o f the United States Employment Service had been
well established in Pennsylvania and as soon as plans for the Negro
work were perfected and a worker available, it was decided to es­
tablish a cooperating office, first, at Erie, Pa. A competent Negro
official, H a n y E. Arnold, of the United States Employment Service,
was accordingly detailed to that city.
116




THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORUD WAR.

117

At that time Erie presented some very critical problems affecting
the relations of white and Negro workers. At the outset of the war
there was said to be about 300 Negroes residing in Erie. But on
November 18, 1918, this population nad increased to 2,000 persons,
the majority of them newcomers, practically all of whom had come
from the South. Housing conditions most seriously affected the
Negroes in Erie. When tne Negro economics activities first looked
in upon the situation, 200 Negro laborers were living in crowded bunk
houses and hastily erected camps. The larger portion of Negro fe­
male workers were employed in domestic ana personal service. Con­
siderable complaint on the part of employees was directed against
“ irregularity of service.” Because of this and the housing condi­
tions, there was a large turnover of labor in Erie, male and female.
Organization o f committees.—The Negro special agent, Harry E.
Arnold, following the above-described plan of the Secretary of Labor,
through the Director of Negro Economics, established a strong com­
mittee of colored and cooperating white members in Erie. The. pur­
poses and functions of such a committee have been previously ex­
plained. A labor survey of Erie followed and thereafter, as soon as
the local situation had been well got in hand, similar plans were out­
lined for Meadville, Sharon, Pittsburgh, Washington, Connellsville,
Harrisburg, New Castle, Beaver Falls, Sewickley, Wilkinsburg,
Braddock, Homestead, Monongahela, Uniontown, Johnstown, Steelton, Carlisle, Chambersburg, York, Gettysburg, Williamsport, Lan­
caster, Coatesville, Scranton, and other industrial centers.
The signing of the armistice, of course, made unnecessary a greater
development of plans for Negro labor in Pennsylvania, but during
December, 1918, and January, February, and March, 1919, the
Negro special agent had carried forward such plans in order to meet
the readjustments which would naturally be found in reconstruction
times. The beginning of April, 1919, found a surplus of 100 unem­
ployed Negroes* in Erie. The special agent within a few weeks had
assisted in reducing this surplus to 48. In this effort it was neces­
sary for him to seek opportunities and assistance from a number of
plants in the placement of Negro workers. Thirty-one representative
plants, principally in the iron and steel industries, gave ready atten- *
tion to the employment of Negro labor, and the following facts are
significant in connection with its greater inclusion in Pennsylvania
industries: Four hundred colored men, of which 50 per cent were
skilled workers, were employed in one of the railroad shops. Six of
these employees were rated as “ first-class mechanics” and were
.ranked among the most efficient in the shops. The officials of a metal
company ana of a boiler company, both of which employed foundry
men ana skilled workers, stated that their “ Negro employees are as
efficient as the whites.”
When it became necessary for these plants to reduce their forces
on account of the cancellation of contracts, preference was given, in
the matter of continuation, to the permanent residents of the local­
ities wherein these industries had their plants. The result was that
the permanent employees are old residents of that city. This, of
course, assists in stimulating the continuance of home ownership
and solidarity of civic life. The special agent reported 200 Negroes
in the employ of the Carnegie Steel Co. on May 7, 1918. Prior to the
signing oi the armistice the number was probably from 600 to 800.



118

THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

In this instance, inadequate housing again retarded the inclusion of
skilled workers. Bunk houses and other unsatisfactory conditions
which the better type of laborer would be discontented with estopped
supply of the skilled Negro worker. The American Steel & Wire Co.
reported a regular force of 75 Negro workers, practically all of whom
were skilled employees. The Savage Arms Corporation reported 60
colored workers on Government contracts. Two machinists were
included in this number.
The above facts show to a small degree some of the practical work
accomplished by this division within a very short period of time.
The adjustments which followed the appointment of a departmental
representative in Pennsylvania indicate the need of the continuation
of such a special service in Pennsylvania districts, in which the Negro
worker is striving for a permanent place in the industrial life. It
may well be said that the great opportunities in this great State will
at least, in some small degree, be more readily available to the com­
petent Negro worker of the future.
Cooperation.—'The Division of Negro Economics is particularly
grateful to the private individuals and organizations in Pennsylvania,
as well as public officials, Federal, State, and city, who cooperated
wholeheartedly in the work. Of particular mention are the Pitts­
burgh Urban League, the Interstate Industrial Arts Association, and
the Armstrong Association of Philadelphia. These organizations,
with their wealth of material knowledge regarding Negro life, were
quick to come to the assistance of the department in this special
effort. The Negro W o rk e d Advisory Committee of Philadelphia,
comprised of strong white and colored citizens of that city, was
made possible through the activities and help of the two last-named
organizations. This committee, seated at Philadelphia, a point in
which Negro life is very important, would have done inestimable
work of value for the department had the future allowed a contin­
uance of the complete field work of the Negro Economics Service.
As this report goes to the press, a statement has come from Erie,
Pa., to the effect that the Negro workers’ advisory committee of
that city is still holding regular meetings, in an advisory capacity,
with regard to the present Tabor problems of that vicinitv. This is
of special significance in view of the fact that nearly a year has elasped
since the permanent work conducted by the department at Erie,
ceased to function. The statement referred to emphasizes a cordial
racial relationship at Erie and bespeaks a high respect on the part of
employers and employees, white and colored, for the results accom­
plished by the committee.




CH APTER X V III.

REPORT OF WORK IN VIRGINIA.
The work of organization in this State was very easily launched
after conference with the executive committee of the Negro Organiza­
tion Society, which already had branch organizations in many
localities of the State, both rural and city. The executive secretary
of the State National Council of Defense very readily approved of
our plans and directed the chairmen of the county councils through­
out the State to appoint three white representatives for service as
cooperating members for our local Negro workers’ advisory com­
mittees. We soon had, therefore, committees established in about
60 counties and 5 cities of the State and an office established at Rich­
mond with Mr. T. C. Erwin, formerly executive secretary of the Negro
Organization Society, in charge.
A series of local conferences between white employers and Negro
workers for making out plans and adjustment of misunderstandings
were held in Richmond, Alexandria, Roanoke, Norfolk, Petersburg,
and Portsmouth. A special note may be given of the cooperative
action of the State Council of National Defense in dealing successfully
with a very critical situation of friction between white and colored
carpenters at Camp Lee.
One of the outstanding results of these conferences was the hand­
ling of an apparent labor shortage at Norfolk. The following is a
brief statement of facts: The chamber of commerce discovered that
many activities of the city on which Governmental projects depended
was suffering from lack of labor. A t the same time there seemed to be
large numbers of able-bodied men in the city. The labor shortage
committee was appointed and an announcement made that there
would be a campaign of officers of the law to compel men to go to
work or to go to jail. As this affected Negro workers very largely, Mr.
P. B. Young, chairman of the Negro workers’ advisory committee
took up the question with the labor shortage committee, pointing out
to them that such a plan would not serve to get workers but to drive
them from the city. A substitute plan was offered by the advisory
committee to carry on an educational campaign, laying before the
workers at mass meetings the labor shortage confronting the com­
munity and its meaning to the city and to the Government, with an
appeal for volunteers. This plan was agreed to, and a series of street
addresses were made at night on the most popular street comers in
the districts frequented by Negroes. After a ten days’ campaign of
this kind employment offices were overrun with volunteer workers
and there were more men than were needed on the jobs.
'
The office of the supervisor received regular reports from over the
State of the Negro labor situation and gave special assistance as a
result in meeting the farm labor shortage wherever possible. Special
educational campaigns were carried on throughout the State by



120

THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

means of bulletins giving information to the local committees on
war labor needs and furnishing material on employment, health,
housing, and recreation that might be passed to the congregations
within the territory of each committee.
The supervisor of Negro economics was also associated with the
director of the Boys' Working Reserve for the State of Virginia, and
directed the beginning of that work among colored boys of the State
to assist in supplying the farm labor shortage during the farming
season of 1918 and the spring season of 1919.
When the Housing Bureau proposed the establishment of a model
community at Truxtun, the supervisor of Negro economics very early
was in touch with some of the strong colored citizens of Portsmouth,
near by. A Negro workers' advisory committee, with Mr. W. H.
Jennings as chairman, was formed. Through them there was devel­
oped contact with the officers of the navv yards, and the Housing
Corporation was assisted in getting suitable residents for the houses
of tne project when opened.
A few weeks after the first blocks of houses were occupied there
appeared need for continued assistance in getting these residents
adjusted to the new community and in securing cooperation among
the families. The supervisor of Negro economics for Virginia there­
fore gave considerable attention to this in cooperation with the local
advisory committee of Portsmouth for help in stimulating the pride
of the new residents in their community and in efforts to make
Truxtun a model in every respect by keeping the buildings in the
model condition they were when first occupied, and the lawns and
surrounding grounds in first-class condition.
After a few weeks it became evident that it was desirable to have
a Negro operating representative put in charge of the project.
The United States Housing Corporation appointed Mr. Fred D.
McCracken, who had been with tne Housing Bureau for more than
a year, first as assistant to the chief of the United States Homes
Registration and Placement Service, in Washington, and later as a
traveling representative of the United States Housing Corporation.
Mr. McCracken took charge as operating representative of Truxtun
in July, 1919.
This Truxtun project consists of 254 family houses with modern
improvements, including electricity, hot and cold water, with garden
ana lawn space for each house, all being either detached or semi­
detached residences. There are four stores and a modern brick
school with 10 rooms all on one floor.
Not only did the operating representative get the support of the
Negro Workers' Advisory Committee of Portsmouth, but he soon
formed an association of the householders of the community, divid­
ing the town into districts, with a captain oVer each district. These
captains formed a sort of town council for advice and help to the
manager in directing the affairs of the town.
The project, under his management, has continued with marked
success, including the conduct of the p ublic school as soon as the
fine school building was completed. Wnen the time came for selling
the homes to the householders the volunteer organization of captains
and householders was very helpful in inducing those who were then
renting the properties to become the purchasers. All of the houses



TH E NEGRO AT WORK DURING TH E WORLD W AR.

121

*
have been taken on an easy-payment purchase plan. The Housing
Corporation no longer furnishes the funds for taking care of the
ublic utilities, these now being supported out of taxes which the
ouseholders have levied upon themselves.
There was inaugurated a system of messages to be delivered by
representatives of the local advisory committees to Negro audiences
gathered on various occasions in different localities. These mes­
sages acquainted the people with the labor needs, opportunities and
conditions. At the time the service was discontinued a series of
economic surveys with special intensive survey of Norfolk, Va.,
were being planned for several cities in cooperation with local offi­
cials and citizens. These surveys were to include living conditions
of Negro workers, such as housing surveys, sanitation, etc.
The constitution of the Negro Workers’ Advisory Committee of
Virginia is somewhat different from that of the other States, and
shows so concretely how effectively cooperative connections were
made with the State and local private organizations in existence
that it is incorporated herewith the account of the work of Virginia
instead of in an appendix:

E

C O NSTITUTION OF TH E N EGRO W O R K ER S’ ADVISORY CO M M ITTEE OF
VIRGINIA.
,

A rticle I. Name.—The name of this committee shall be the
Negro Workers’ Advisory Committee of Virginia.
A rt. II. Purpose.—The purpose of this committee shall be to
study, plan, and advise in a cooperative spirit and manner with
employers of Negro labor, with Negro workers and with the United
States Department of Labor in securing from Negro laborers greater
production in industry and agriculture for winning the war through
increasing regularity, application and efficiency, through increasing
the morale of Negro workers, and through improving their general
condition.
A rt. III. Membership.—The membership of this committee shall
be composed of not more than thirty persons—colored men and
women of Virginia. At least five members shall be women. Seven
members of tins committee shall be chosen from the executive com­
mittee of the Negro Organization Society (Inc.), who shall be subject
to reelection on the same terms of election as other members. The
chairman of the Virginia Council of Defense, the Federal Director
of the United States Employment Service, the chairman of the War
Labor Board, and such other white citizens as may be appointed by
the United States Department of Labor shall be cooperating members.
Governor Westmoreland Davis shall be Honorary Chairman.
' A rt. IV. Executive hoard.—There shall be an executive board of
nine chosen from the general committee. A t least two members
of the executive board shall be women, and three members shall be
chosen from the central committee of the Negro Organization Society
(Inc.), subject to the same terms of election as other members.
. A rt. V. Appointments.—The members of the committee and of
the executive board shall upon recommendation be appointed by
the Secretary of Labor, who shall also designate the chairman and the
secretary. These officers shall serve for both the advisory committee
and the executive board.



122

THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

Upon the first appointment, one-third of the members of both the
advisory committe and its executive board shall be appointed to
serve until January 1, 1919; one-third to serve until June 1, 1919;
and one-third to serve until January 1, 1920. Thereafter, one-third
of the membership of the committee and its executive board shall be
appointed every six months to serve for a term of six months. The
chairman and secretary shall serve for periods of six months each,
subject to reappointment. There shall be a treasurer appointed by
the executive board. He shall be under bond for the iaithful per­
formance of such duties as the executive board may designate.
A rt . VI. Meetings.— Section 1. The advisory committee shall
meet at least once every six months and at such other times as the
executive board may decide. Fifteen members shall constitute a
quorum.
Sec. 2. The executive board shall meet at least once every other
month and at such other times as the chairman and secretary shall
decide, unless otherwise ordered by the board. Six members shall
constitute a quorum. The chairman shall be required to call a meet­
ing of the executive board upon a written reauest of five members
of the advisory committee, o f the board, or of Doth.
Sec. 3. The meeting place of the advisory committee and the
executive 'board shall be the State Capitol unless otherwise ordered
by the executive board and approved by the Department of Labor.
A rt. VII. By-laws.—The executive board shall make such by­
laws and rules for the conduct of business as seem best, subject to
the approval of the advisory committee and the Department of
Labor.
A rt . VIII. Powers o f the executive hoard.—The executive board
shall transact all business, make plans, enter into agreements, and
perform such other acts as may be necessary for carrying out the pur­
pose of this committee. All such transactions, plans, agreements,
or acts shall be subject to revision by the advisory committee and
the United States Department of Labor, through its duly-authorized
representatives.
A rt. IX . County committees.—The executive board shall nominate
for each county of the State having in their judgment a sufficient
Negro population a county Negro workers’ advisory committee of
not more than eleven persons, at least two of whom must be wom'en.
This committee shall consist of one member from each magisterial
district in the county and three members from the county at large,
provided, however, that no county advisory committee shall consist
of more than eleven members. Five members so nominated are to
be appointed by the Department of Labor upon recommendation of
the Negro Organization Society, (Inc.), or its central committee. A
member of the respective county councils of defense and such other
white citizens as may be selected by the Governor of Virginia, or his
duly authorized representative, shall be cooperating members of the
county advisory committee.
A rt. X . City committee.—The executive board shall nominate for
each city of the State having in their judgment a sufficient Negro
population a city Negro workers’ advisory committee of not more
than twenty-five niembers, at least one-fifth of whom shall be women.
A majority of the citv advisory committee shall constitute a quorum
for the transaction o f business. Those nominated for this committee



THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

123

shall be appointed by the Department of Labor upon recommend­
ation of the Negro Organization Society (Inc.), or its central com­
mittee.
A rt. X I . Neighborhood com m ittees.— Each district member of
the county Negro workers’ advisory committee shall appoint in his
district a neighborhood committee consisting of one member for every
five to fifteen families in the district. The district member of the
county committee shall be chairman of this neighborhood commit­
tee and shall be held responsible for the work of the committee.
A rt. X II. F in a n ces .—-Neither this organization, its executive
board, nor the countv or neighborhood committees, nor any of their
executive boards shall have power or authority to incur expenses or
make any financial agreements or contracts, which shall in any way
obligate the State of Virginia, the United States Department of
Labor, or the Negro Organization Society (Inc.) No debts shall be
incurred by this committee or its-executive board or by any county
or neighborhood committees or their respective executive boards
unless previously provided for. The treasurer of this committee
shall keep account of receipts and expenditures and he shall keep
any funds intrusted to him deposited in such banks or trust companies
as the executive board shall decide.
A rt. X III. A m en d m en ts .— Amendments may be 'made to this
constitution by two-thirds vote at a regular and duly called meeting
of this committee, provided such amendment shall have been pre­
viously approved by the governor of Virginia, or his duly authorized
representative, and the United States Department of Labor and the
Negro Organization Society (Inc).




CHAPTER XIX.
NEGRO WOMEN IN INDUSTRY.
SUM M ARY OF REPORTS M ADE BY M RS. HELEN B. IRVIN, SPECIAL
AGENT OF THE W O M E N ’ S BUREAU IN 1918-19.

Desiring to give recognition to all major questions affecting women
in industry and keeping in mind the declared purpose of the United
States Department of Labor “ to foster, promote and develop the
welfare of wage earners of the United States, ” the Women's Bureau,
early in its career as the Woman in Industry Service, made pro­
vision to include in its program a study of the problems of Negro
women in industry. The summary of data here given was secured
from several industrial centers where typical conditions were known
to prevail during visits made within tne seven months beginning
December 1, 1918, and ending June 30, 1919.
This summary is by no means extensive. One hundred and fiftytwo plants, employing more than 21,000 Negro workers, were visited,
and the figures and statements here presented cover recent phases
and developments in this industrial situation.
The plants and industries visited were located in Illinois, Ohio,
and Missouri, and in portions of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and
Virginia. In a number of cases recommendations were made for
the improvement of conditions. Wlierever subsequent information
could be obtained showing that action had followed these recom­
mendations and some instructive experience resulted a statement
has been included in this summary.
INDUSTRIAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR NEGRO WOMEN.

The total number of Negroes 10 years of age and over who were
gainfully employed in 1910 as reported by the Thirteenth Census
was 5,192,535; of these, 3,178,554 were male workers and 2,013,981
were female workers. Of the female workers, 1,051,137 were included
in agriculture, forestry, and animal husbandry. Only 8,313 were
listed in trade and transportation occupations, and 67,967 in manu­
facturing and mechanical pursuits.1
While these figures include women in all sections of the country,
of wide range of training, and of all ages above 10 years, it is reported
that, on an average, Negro women in industry are between 16 and
30 years of age. With the great labor shortage during the war,
especially in northern industries, colored women had the opportunity
to enter industrial pursuits never opened to them before. For the
country as a whole there are at present no available figures to show
the full extent to which they embraced the opportunities. The
figures included below, however, are so typical as to give a good
indication for the territory covered. As a result of recent migration
in the North, these women were frequently new to urban life and to
the factory type of community. They were, therefore, largely in
process of adjustment to unaccustomed conditions, climatic, social,
occupational, and economic.
1 Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Negro Population 1790-1915.
17 and 19.

124



General Tables Nos.




MACHINE OPERATORS MAKING BEDSPRING W EBBING

THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

125

The great need for workers to replace men drafted for Army service
brought women into occupations not heretofore considered within
the range of their possible activities. Negro women shared to some
extent these new fields. In response to the industrial demand,
large numbers dropped their accustomed tasks in the home and in
domestic service to take up the newer, more attractive work of
supplying the need of the fighting world for the products of industry.
In visits to 152 typical plants employing Negro women it was
found that they were working at many different processes and under
very different working conditions. Table V II which follows, gives
an outline of the kind of work done by the women and the industries
in which they were employed:
T

V I I .— Industrial occupations o f 21)547 Negro women in (approximately) 75
specific processes, at 152 plants, during the period Dec. 1, 1918, to June $0, 1919.

able

Number
of
plants in­
spected.

1

2

Product.

Bed springs..................................

5

Brooms, brushes............ . ..........
Canned food s...............................

26

Clothing (m en’s and wom en’s).

Processes at which women were
employed.

Number of
women em­
ployed, each
specified
process.

4
16
190
311

Assembling, miscellaneous....................
Machine operating............................
Grading broom corn, binding gristles.
Pitting, packing, crystallizing, and
canningfruits and vegetables.
Cutting........... : .........................................

2
5
11

x s i a p i u g . . . .................................. ..............................

4

Cotton m ills (cordage, waste, m op s)........

31

Department and other stores....................

4

Furniture.................................................... .

1

Glassware....... ..............................................

7

Hardware......................................................

4

Hosiery and knit goods...............................

6

L a u n d r ie s ..:.................................................

3

Leather goods...............................................

6

Meats and meat products (stockyards,
abattoirs).

2

16

Munitions.....................................................
Office work (Government work, m ail­
order houses).

4

R ubber goods................................................

16

T o b a c c o ............................................. ..........

12

Transportation..............................................

3

W ar apparatus (gas masks, aeroplane
sails, balloons).
Total.




Hand finishing..........................................
Machine sewing................................... ..
Feeding and tending m achines.............
Sorting cotton............................................
Elefvator operators...................................
Saleswomen......................... i#.................
Stock girls, m aids...................................
W rappers...................................................
Operating lathes.......................................
Polishing desks, pianos...........................
Making blown glass___ 1.........................
Matron, timekeeper.................................
Miscellaneous m achine operating
punch and drill presses soldering,
welding.
Finishing knitted garments...................
Operating knitting m achines...............
Steam and dry cleaning.........................
Washing and ironing by power ma­
chinery.
Grading, cleaning and curing, tanning
hides.
Cleaning and curing offaL......................
Preparing, curing, and canning meats.
Testing hides............................................
Tim e keeping...........................................
Trim m ine and cleaning viscera............
Loading shells. . 1...................................
Billing machines and addressograph
operators.
Card filing, clerking...............................
Expert investigating...............................
Packing and shipping goods..................
Skilled field w ork (lectures, e t c .).........
Switchboard operating......... . .........
Tvpists, stenographers, bookkeepers. .
Making and vulcanizing motor tires,
tubes, rubber toys, etc.
Making cigars............................................
Preparing snuff and chewing to b a cco ..
Stem m ing.................................................
Weighing and inspecting........................
Cleaning and repairing autom obiles. . .
Flagging trains............................ .........
Salvaging from railroad w reckage........
Power-machine stitching......................

632
190
100
110
3
7
25
102

2

360
38
692

11

146
130
2,990
117
37

2

136
499
331
2,705
7
182
8

2

2,303
114
/

48
2,373
5,965

2

215
18
84
57
21,547

126

TH E NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

It will be seen from a study of this table that the two industries
employing the greatest number of Negro women were the meat­
packing industry, where 3,282 were employed in the stockyards and
abattoirs, and the tobacco industry, wnere 5,965 were employed at
stemming tobacco, and 2,373 in the preparation of chewing tobacco
and of snuff.
Another very large group were doing office work, 5,538 being
employed in 16 offices. Tne other occupations ranged from the
simple work of sorting and packing to the operation of various
machines requiring skill and dexterity. Some of these occupations,
such as loading shells, operating lathes, cleaning and repairing auto­
mobiles, flagging trains, and salvaging from railroad wreckage, were
new to all women. On the greater number of processes, however,
white women had been employed many years before Negro women
were taken on.
During the war the employment of large numbers of women at
new tasks in munitions plants and other war industries led to a
shortage of labor in the textile and garment factories, which had
long been great employers of women. As a result manv textile
ana garment manufacturers, being quite unable to secure the requi­
site number of whitq workers for their plants, accepted and even
appealed to Negro girls and women to relieve the situation. The
work of 1,670 girls and women in textile and garment trades was
carefully observed. Several thousand others were known to be
similarly employed.
In several arsenals and munition plants groups oi Negro women
were found mining chemicals, loading shells, making gas masks,
stitching wings for aeroplanes, and engaging in similar processes
requiring great care, skillful fingers, patriotism, and courage. Most
of these industries were housea in modern fireproof buildings, well
ventilated to carry off the poisonous fumes, asbestos partitioned to
prevent the spread of flames, and well equipped with hose, fire
escapes, and first-aid apparatus for use in tne occasional accidents
that appear t6 be unavoidable in such places.
The 499 munition makers were found to be giving satisfaction as a
whole, and in some instances were reported to respond more readily
than others for doing the heavy and dangerous portions of the work.
They were proud o f their unusual tasks and o f their uniforms, and
seem to have appreciated the working day shorter than household
hours in domestic and personal service.
In abattoirs, stockyards, and tannenes Negro women were en­
gaged at different times in all processes except the actual butchering
and inspecting of meats. They trimmed, sorted, and graded different
portions of the carcasses; separated and cleaned the viscera; prepared,
cured, and canned the meats; and graded, cleaned, cured, and tanned
the hides for making articles of leather.
In Government clothing factories and in private establishments on
Government contracts they made overalls, army shirts, and dungarees
in large numbers. In other factories they made bolts, nuts, rivets,
screws, motor accessories, and metal buckets. In rubber plants they
made automobile tires, tubes, parts of rubber boots, shoe neels, toys,
and hospital necessities, such as rubber gloves, pads, and hot-water
bottles. In transportation service they cleaned cars, acted as switch





NEGRO WOMEN IRON ERS IN LAU ND RY ESTABLISHMENT.

(NOTE THE VENTILATING HOOD.)

TH E NEGRO AT W O R K . DURING TH E W ORM ) W AR.

.

127

men and flagmen, mended roadbeds, salvaged small parts of engines
and coaches from wreckage, painted and made simple repairs on
automobiles, and occasionally acted as chauffeurs.
Power-laundry work has "furnished the opportunity for many
Negro girls and women to earn a livelihood. In considerable numbers
they have followed into the factory their former occupation of launder­
ing clothing. Under good factory conditions this permits of escape
from the more undesirable conditions of the household laundry
service. Because of the difficulties and dangers of the work, and
because of the traditional linking of Negro women to such tasks, there
has been in most places little objection to them or color discrimi­
nation against them in laundries. They have learned, consequently,
to operate all kinds of power-laundry machinery; to wash, iron,
steam or dry clean garments of all sorts, as well as to do the hand
finishing that is still in considerable demand.
Many of these industries being essential in peace times, it is prob-.
able that large numbers of the Negro women who were drawn into
them during the war emergency, and have made good, will find per­
manent occupations at more desirable work than heretofore.
In these industries Negro women usually fell heir to the less desir­
able occupations or processes. As a whole, however, they stuck to
these jobs and many won advancement to higher places in that way.
Many are still to be found spinning coarse yam ; knitting gloves,
stockings, and underwear of cheap grades; making lingerie, fine
waists, silk and woolen dresses, coats, caps, overalls, and men's
shirts.
The 8,388 tobacco workers observed in the factories visited were
found chiefly in southern or border-line States, and, with the excep­
tion of two groups, are working under most objectionable, insanitary
conditions. Nearly 6,000 of these young, unskilled girls, work in
stemmeries, where they prepare the stemmed tobacco for chewing,
cigar making, snuff, and cigarettes. Very few Negro girls are found
at the more skilled processes, such as making cigars. For this work
one employment manager insisted upon hiring only pretty types, of
rather foreign appearance, “ in order that they may be regarded by
patrons as Cuban, South American, or Spanish.” Two women who
were employed as weighers or inspectors were found to be both >
quick and accurate in their judgment, and are paving the way for
others.
In hotels many Negro women performed the services of cooks,
dishwashers, waitresses, maids, elevator operators, and even bell
girls. These flatter were afterward quite generally replaced by boys
and men, the girls being unable to handle most of the luggage of
patrons. The wages of maids and waitresses were usually low, the
workers being largely dependent upon “ tips.”
Elevator girls were operating both in hotels and in department
stores as well as in many office buildings. They worked on alter­
nate long and short “ shifts,” with brief rest periods, and carried
passengers or freight as requiredv However, they were not usually
compelled to lift packages into or out of their cars.
Not only
have these girls succeeded as elevator operators, but also as maids,
stock girls, bundle wrappers, and even, where given the opportunity,
as saleswomen. Several employers expressed a marked preference



128

THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

for Negro stock girls, for reason that a greater variety of service
might be demanded of them. For instance, in some stores they came
to work 15 minutes before schedule time in order to polish mirrors
and display cases.
Careful observation showed that bundle wrappers working in
sight of customers of stores were often of types whose racial identity
was doubtful, while those behind the screens, as in packing and
shipping departments, were more distinctly negroid in complexion.
Three saleswomen of discernible Negro blood were of good appear­
ance and showed keen intelligence about their work. Three or four
quick and clever stock girls were found acting as sales assistants.
Excepting Government appointees, of whom varying numbers
have held positions under civil-service regulations since the period
of reconstruction following the Civil War, comparatively few Negro
women were employed at office work until 1917. The general spur
to industry consequent upon America’s participation in the war, the
shifting o f workers from home and farm to office, factory, and bat­
tlefield made opportunities for greater numbers at clerical tasks
than ever before. In this emergency several thousand Negro women
found opportunities to play their part. The total of 5,538 found
doing office work qualified in the offices of shops, of mail-order and
other business houses, as typists, stenographers, and bookkeepers,
2,303 were observed at this work. There were 2,705 filing clerks,
331 billing and addressograph operators, and 182 packing and ship­
ping clerks. These included, o f course, forewomen and super sfisors
of the various groups of workers. Clerical work was being done for
the Government under civil-service and special classification. Also,
there were 15 special investigators and lecturers and 2 telephone
switchboard operators.
A majority of these clerical workers, both in general commercial
and industrial plants and in Government service, were given tem­
porary appointments under the war emergency. Many of them
were being released after the armistice to make way for discharged
soldiers or because need for their services no longer existed. Others
were frankly told that such positions as remained available wrere
intended for white workers, and that they had been used merely
because no others could at that time be obtained. In known
instances, however, Negro girls and women acquitted themselves in
so satisfactory a manner that they have been retained, these having
made permanent places for themselves. Also, a number of instances
of individual success and achievement are known to have been
rewarded by promotion and by assurance of continuance during
satisfactory service.
The signing of the armistice, bringing about a gradual cessation
of war industries or a change in factory processes and products,
probably meant the permanent dismissal of many of these Negro
women industrial workers. Some have been provided for in the
new plans of their employers and others have returned to their
prewar occupations. Subsequent study is in progress to ascertain
to what extent these Negro women have found a permanent foothold
in these industrial occupations.




§




NEGRO WOMEN AT W O R K AS E N TRY CLERKS IN A M A IL-O R D E R HOUSE.

TH E NEGRO AT WORK. DURING THE WORLD WAR.

129

CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT.

In individual plants conditions were found to vary from the least
desirable to the most satisfactory, as judged by modern industrial
standards. Outstanding examples of these differences are to be
found particularly in types of factory work usually denoted as
“ women’s trades,” such as textile, clothing, and tobacco industries.
On the whole, the working conditions where Negro women were
employed along with white women the conditions appeared to be
similar. A few typical cases will illustrate the situation. •
In a hoisery mill employing Negro women no provision was made
for first aid, although slight accidents are frequent. Other facilities
for the comfort of the workers were at a minimum. The plant had
no lunchroom or lockers. There were but two toilets and two
sinks, and one separate faueet with a tin cup attached supplied the
drinking water for the entire group. There was neither soap nor
warm water for washing the hands, although the workers were
expected to keep the white hosiery quite free of any soiling. They
were taxed a few cents for each soiled spot found by the inspector.
On the other hand, another establishment, manufacturing men’s
shirts, offered thoroughly desirable working conditions with adequate
facilities for the comfort of its employees. Each unit, consisting of
140 to 200 girls, was furnished with an instructor for processes tnat
were new, whetner carried on by hand or by power machine. The
shops were well lighted and heated and were fitted with modern
machinery that runs with little noise and gives to the operators pro­
tection from accident. A small dispensary and first-aid room, with a
nurse, were available. There was an excellent lunch room, with food
furnished at cost. There were lockers, clean and adequate toilets,
and sinks with soap and sanitary towels. All workers started with
the same basic wage, with increases to more highly paid piecework as
rapidly as their skill permitted.
a
Good and bad conditions were found also among industries here­
tofore carried on entirely by men. For instance, a plant manufac­
turing buckets and other sheet-metal products was very poorly
heated, lighted, and ventilated. Its uneven cement floor held poofs
of water that had overflowed from the cooling tanks. Generously
spilled paint and solder caused an uncertain footing in the dim aisles.
One room, about 9 by 12 feet, with a single toilet in the comer and
with hooks above two benches along the walls, furnished the only
arrangements for women to change street clothing and working
apparel and for the storage of coats and skirts of changed garments.
There being no lockers, garments of workers were frequently reported
as lost from the hooks. Two sinks just outside the door of this room
were supplied merely with cold water, and only roller towels were
furtiishea.
Under these conditions two groups of 35 Negro women each
worked on alternate day and night shifts. One group worked from
7 p .m . until 5 a. m., with a half hour at midnight for lunch. Because
o f the extreme suburban location of this plant and the. inconvenience
to cars these employees were obliged to walk about half mile across
an unpaved, poorly lighted, wind-swept area which was unpleasant
even on a clear wmter midday, not to mention inclement weather.
1989°— 21—




9

130

TH E NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

A group of young Negro women, selected and sent by the local
United States Employment office in response to an urgent appeal
from the woman proprietor, left this factory in a body on their first
day because of the abusive language of a foreman in response to their
protest against the conditions under which they were expected to
work.
In marked contrast to these conditions were those found in an
immense plant which was making bolts, nuts, small parts of motors,
and other machine-shop products. The several hundred women
employees were native-born white, Negro, and foreign-born of
several nationalities. The workrooms of this factory were light
and clean, neither unduly noisy nor overcrowded. The punch and
drill presses were provided with guards to reduce the number of
accidents. The Negro women wore caps and overalls and were
directed by a Negro forewoman. The plant was adequately equipped
with toilets, washrooms, and lockers. There was a plain but clean
lunchroom, a dispensary, with first-aid and visiting-nurse service
without charge. There was also a company store where employees
could purchase uniforms, other plain clothing, and a few necessary
foodstuffs at wholesale rates. A training school offered certain
instruction during a limited number of hours each working week.
There was apparently no special arrangements made because of race,
except that the colored women worked in a group to themselves and
were superintended by a Negro forewoman.
Realizing that the opinion of their employers would seriously
affect the future of Negro women in industry, an attempt was made
to secure the opinions of superintendents or other officials dealing
with Negro women in these plants. Of 34 employers who expressed
a definite opinion on this subject, 14 said that they found the work
of Negro women as satisfactory as other women workers, and 3
found their work better than that of the white women they were
working with or had displaced. Of the 17 employers who felt that
the work of Negro women did not compare satisfactorily with that of
the white women, 7 reported that irregularity of attendance was the
main cause for dissatisfaction, and 7 others felt that the output of
Negro women was less because they were slower workers.
INDUSTRIAL TRAINING.

The chief of the problems of industrial training is presented by the
very obvious need for a more carefully thought-out plan of education
for Negro women, who are comparatively new to industry and who
have no adequate standards upon which to base their estimate of
their own worth or the requirements of their occupations.

If private and public facilities were to be generally opened to Negro
women for their education there would not fail to be a very general
increase in the efficiency of Negro women in industry. This is not
education in the usually accepted sense, though an impartial enforce­
ment of the school attendance law will improve economic conditions
for future groups of workers. It is training for efficiency, with its
contributing factors of personal hygiene, industrial sense, increasing
skill, and realization of contractual obligation. It is the development
of industrial consciousness through the fostering of pride in acnievement? through increasing personal and family thrift and through



THE- NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

131

encouraging an attitude of constancy toward a given task or locality.
This type of education is essential in “ training the worker on the

•j°b.”
As is the case with any group new to a situation, Negro women on
entering industry have need of patient, careful training in all proc­
esses required oi them and in the use of all machinery employed in
the specific work assigned to them. Such training plus the oppor­
tunity to advance individually or in groups, as their increasing skill
may warrant, has been found profitable h y most of the employers
who are awake to the possibilities of Negro women as workers.
Eighty per cent of the employers interviewed who had given a trial
to the training-plus-opportunity method reported little or no diffi­
culty with these workers, while 30 per cent expressed a preference for
Negro women because of their cheerfulness, willingness, and loyalty
in response to fair treatment.
One employer who had instituted these courses said: “ We are
getting all we hoped for and more.” In this plant the girls were
doing clerical work. Each girl was given three days' special training
before being put to work. Up to the time of the visit (1919) their
work was so satisfactory that a large number were employed. The
management said that it had found that Negro girls did just as good
clerical w;ork as white girls as soon as the “ breaking-in” training
had been given.
In another plant, where a “ superintendent of service” was de­
tailed to superintend group and individual training for work on small
machine products, it was reported that there was no difference be­
tween the work or attendance of the native-born white, Negro, and
and foreigii-bom women workers. This plant showed in the kind of
women employed and the atmosphere of the workroom the excellent
results of the absolutely equal chance given to all workers. In other
plants training was more haphazard, being given by the forewoman
and sometimes by fellow workers. It was from such establishments
that the greater number of complaints .of inefficiency and slowness
came.
In addition to courses of training supplied by the employer within
his plant and which are limited to the actual processes in use in his
plant, there were found some opportunities for Negro women in the
public schools, through continuation classes or night schools.
In one locality a plan of cooperation for such extension work be­
tween the vocational bureau of the public schools and a privately
controlled industrial school was feasible. The school in question had
already launched several courses designed to interest the young work­
ing girls of that community. The principal was quite willing to ex­
tend the opportunity to Negro women workers, making such course
as practically attractive as the school facilities would permit. A t the
time this school was offering courses of interest to housemaids, cafe­
teria workers r butchers, core makers, motor mechanics, and various
sorts of garment workers, including makers of overalls, shirts, and
women's clothing.
Possibilities for decent, sane, healthful recreation for the average
Negro working girl and woman being in many communities dis­
tressingly inadequate, this phase of educational activity is very es­
sential to efficiency. It appeared wise to attempt to arouse interest
in this matter wherever the situation seemed urgently to warrant it.




132

THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

As an instance of what can be done, a community center organization
which had previously taken no heed of the 300 to 400 colored girls
at work in a local factory was persuaded to provide for them a weekly
meeting place and a leader of games and athletics. The principal
of a Negro school was induced to appeal to the school authorities
to include in their plan for a new building some provision for a joint
assembly room and gymnasium. Much to the principal’s surprise
the appeal met a favorable reception, and the people of the little
community are now watching the erection of their building with this
addition.
Several recreational clubs of different sorts have been organized
in churches, and a certain war service has given excellent and valu­
able assistance in this respect, following most willingly any lead or
suggestion that might be given.
A very important part oi the work which was done by the Women’s
Bureau in connection with Negro women was the educational talks
explaining to various groups interested in this subject the standards
and policies that should attain in establishments employing women
and girls.
In addition to the courses of training which could be made avail­
able for Negro workers in the private or public schools, there could
be a most valuable educational stimulus and training given in the
various leagues and clubs of industrial women workers which are
organized in different communities.
METHODS OF SUPERVISION.

If the Negro woman is to keep and increase her hold in industrial
activities of the country, in addition to special training to fit her for
the work, she will need the cooperation oi employers who understand
the special problems attending her employment, and who will make
adjustments and establish policies accordingly. Various methods
of shop management in plants employing Negro and white workers
together were noted during this survey, and on the basis of successful
experiments that were observed recommendations were made for the
improvement o f conditions in other localities.
In one northern community which had recently beeti subjected to
a large influx of Negroes one well-known firm had already put into
operation a plan of work for them on equal pay and conditions as
other workers. The results were not only satisfactory but were
promising of most desirable further development. The workers were
making good in every department. The largest numbers naturally
were found in sections where mainly manual operations w
rere required.
Besides the many operators on punch and drill presses there were
several forewomen, nve typists, two or three clerks, twro messengers,
two elevator operators, a first-aid assistant, a postwoman, and a
woman chauffeur. With this particular firm as a successful example
three others were persuaded to give their Negro workers similar
opportunity.
Negro women supervisors of units of workers of their own kind
were giving results. One very successful instance of such super­
vision can be used as an example of what might be accomplished
through the more general adoption of the plan. This unit of approx­
imately 200 girls in a large mail-order house had worked for aoout a
r



THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

133

year under the supervision of an intelligent Negro woman. The
work of these girls consisted of all office processes, such as bookkeep­
ing, stenographic work, typewriting, and operating office appliances
as well as packing and preparing goods for shipment.
These workers were not only supervised but were also trained and
instructed by Negro forewomen. The unit had a slogan, “ Make
good 100 per cent.” So successful had been the work of this group
that shortly after their dismissal by a new, unsympathetic superin­
tendent, they were reinstated and their number augmented, because
their work was so satisfactory in relation to the larger work of the
entire plant.
Although there was a number of examples found of a carefully
thought out policy in the employment of Negro women, there were
complaints of discrimination made by these women too serious and
frequent to be ignored. If a group of women persistently believes
that they are given the lowest wages, the most disagreeable work, the
poorest material, and that they will be the first to be laid off, whether
or not the facts fully warrant their beliefs, they will hardy put their
best efforts into the improvement of their work.
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION.

From the foregoing account it would seem that the Negro women
have taken an increasingly important place in industrial activities,
largely as a result of labor shortage durmg the war. They increased
in numbers in meat packing, in the tobacco industry and power
laundries, and entered largely into textile and garment factories,
munitions plants, and into clerical positions.
The conditions of the places of work varied from excellent to very
poor, appearing to be similar to those surrounding white women
where the two were working together. The Negro women workers
need special attention to their industrial training and opportunities
for community adjustment. Where employers have tried to do this
they found it profitable. Special supervision, especially by persons of
their own race, has proven effective.
So far as the situation may be regarded as peculiar to the Negro
woman it may be said that sue has been accepted, in the main, as an
experiment; her admittance to a given occupation or plant has been
conditioned upon no other workers being available, and her continu­
ance frequently hinged upon the same. She was usually given the
less desirable jobs. The Negro woman worker being new to industry
has to learn its lessons of routine and regularity; the attitude both of
the employer and of other workers toward Negro women workers was
one of uncertainty.




CHAPTER X X .
RECOMMENDATIONS ON SCOPE OF DEPARTMENTAL
AUTHORITY.

From time to time the Director of Negro Economics submitted
reports and memoranda to the Secretary of Labor showing the
propaganda which it was attempted to establish among Negro wage
earners.
Such a memorandum, with supporting documents and
newspaper clippings and exhibits, were submitted to the Secretary
about a month before the series of riots in Chicago, 111., Omaha,
Nebr., Washington, D. C., and other places in the summer of 1919.
In this memorandum there were analyzed the three schools of
opinion and activities in the adjustment of Negro life, namely, the
very radical I. W. W. group, the aggressive abolitionist group, and
the conciliatory group. In the course of this memorandum, dated
July 8, 1919, there occurred the following statements:
This state of opinion in the Negro world is especially important with reference
to the labor conditions in the States of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan,
and points in New Jersey, Indiana, Nebraska, fowa, and Kansas. To this terri­
tory thousands of Negroes have migrated and are still moving. They are coming
into employments very much more highly paid than those they left m the South.
They are badly housed in most cases, rather coolly received by the white workers
and populace, segregated into “ ghettos” in the larger industrial centers. They are
little adjusted to the highly oiganized northern life into which they have come from
more backward communities in the South. The white workers in many localities
in this territory have looked with apprehension upon their settlement, at the present
time there being considerable friction in points like Toledo, Ohio, Chicago, 111., and
Omaha, Nebr. The occurrences at Philadelphia, East St. Louis, and Chester, Pa.,
within the last two years are only indications of what may easily take place in other
glaces.^ The returning Negro soldiers are also going in large numbers to these centers.
Their discontent, growing out of previous conditions and present maladjustment
in their new surroundings, their desire for American rights, their resentment against
unjust discrimination and other practices against them make them a very ripe field
for critical developments of unrest, friction, and disturbances—dangers not only to
the peace of labor conditions but also to the welfare of themselves, the community,
and the Nation. Suspicions of white workers at the present time in several places
make outbreaks easily possible. * * *
In all this territory there is very little, if any, well-organized and well-directed
machinery for assisting Negroes in "getting into "touch with the employment offices
and in getting located and adjusted in their new’ environment. Thousands of them
are coming to places like Chicago and Detroit with no direction whatever. They
will listen to counsel and guidance from Federal agents as from no others.
It has been clearly demonstrated that our supervisors, working under the United
States Employment Service, with the development of Negro workers* advisory com­
mittees in these places, can have the most far-reaching effect upon these workers.

During the trying days of the Chicago riots the Director of Negro
Economics went to Chicago and investigated the situation on the
ground and on August 27, 1919, he made a full report of the Chicago
situation to the Secretary of Labor, outlining the underlying labor
causes in relation to white employers, white workmen, Negro work­
men, housing, political, and other conditions. This report was sup134




THE NEGRO 4 T WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR,

135

ported with a mass of testimony, newspaper clippings, and other data.
The director also visited and reported upon the feeling between white
and colored workers in St. Louis, Mo., Detroit and Flint, Mich.,
Cleveland, Ohio, and several other places. Testimony and evidence
were also gathered from Sumter and Columbia, S. C., Birmingham,
Ala., New York, N. Y., Jacksonville, Fla., and Montgomery, Ala.,
and from this testimony the director said, as a preface to the following
recommendations (see pp. 26-31):
I am led to believe that the racial tension is so widespread as to be, in fact, a matter
of national concern calling for some attention from the National Government.

He therefore made the following recommendations which were
transmitted by the Assistant Secretary of Labor and approved by the
Secretary of Labor September 29, 1919:
This report of racial friction, together with my previous memorandum on racial
unrest, submitted July 8, 1919, shows imperative need of some forward steps. When
the Secretary of Labor, furthering the effectiveness of his office, created the position
of Director of Negro Economics there was latently established a means of exchange of
information and of cooperation between this department and other departments of
government, both State and Federal, through which a large, National constructive
program for bettering the living and working conditions of Negro workers and im­
proving their relations with white workers and white employers may be outlined and
ut into operation. The authority of the Secretary to establish such cooperation
etween this department and other departments is given in the organic act as follows:
“ Said Secretary [of Labor] shall also have authority to call Upon other departments
of the Government for statistical data and the results obtained by them; and said
Secretary of Labor may collate, arrange, and publish such statistical information
obtained in such manner as to him may seem wise. ’ ’ (Sec. 4 of the organic act creating
the Department of Labor.)
Section 10 of the organic act directed the Secretary to report to Congress a plan for
coordination of the activities, duties, and powers of his office with those of other offices
so far as they relate to labor. January 9, 1917, the Secretary of Labor reported such
a plan to Congress with a bill to establish such cooperation and coordination of activi­
ties, powers, and duties. (See H. Doc. No. 1906, 64th Cong. 2d sess.) Apparently
this bill was never enacted into law.
However, the Director of Negro Economics has been acting under the authority of
the Secretary given in section 4 of the organic act quoted above so far as cooperation
could be obtained with other departments in obtaining and furnishing information
for the advice of the department. In addition to effective cooperation of an advisory
nature which- has been established with the several bureaus and divisions of the
Department of Labor, special steps for cooperation with other branches of the Federal
Government and with seme of the State governments have been successfully under­
taken. Special mention may be made of such cooperative effort with the State
Councils of National Defense during the war, with the United States Public Health
Service, and the War Risk Insurance Bureau of the Treasury Department, and with
Col. Woods’s office (Special Assistant to the Secretary of War), and 'with some of the,
demonstration agents of the Department of Agriculture.
Based upon this past experience and the authority and powers of the Secretary of
Labor for calling upon other branches of the Government for information affecting
wage earners, I respectfully recommend:
1.
That the office of the Secretary of Labor, b y virtue of the aforesaid authority,
either through the Division of Negro Economics, or otherwise, as seems best, take
steps through the executive of each department, or chiefs of bureaus or commissions
or boards, (a) to develop cooperation for securing statistical data on labor matters from
other departments, such data to be collated, arranged, and published with reference
to Negro workers and their relations to white workers and white employers; (b) to
work out plans for practical cooperation of the office of the Secretary of Labor with
such other branches of the executive department of the Government as deals with
questions of labor, such plans to be similar to those already started with the Public
Health Service, the Bureau of War Risk Insurance of the Treasury Department, and
the office of Col. Woods, of the War Department.
2.
That the Negro Workers’ Advisory Committees already established be utilized
for such cooperative service with other departments of the Government for such steps
as may be effective in removing the conditions now causing racial unrest and friction,

E




136

THE NEGRO AT W ORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

as it seems to me that some of the causes can be effectively removed by cooperative
efforts of the agencies of the Federal Government along the following lines: [a) Pub­
licity and educational campaigns on the training of Negro workers, both shop training
and unskilled training; ( b ) improvement of the housing of Negro workers; (c) methods
of encouraging thrift; (a) improvement of farm labor conditions and methods of labor
management; ( / ) educational efficiency campaigns on promptness, regularity, full­
time work, etc., utilizing Negro newspapers, associations, agencies, and public
speakers; and (g ) enlistment of active help of white employers and organizations of
white workers.
3. That through the cooperation of the other agencies of the Federal Government
some plan for the investigation of Negro affairs and race relations in as many localities
as possible be undertaken as a means of having information and advice to improve
conditions and race relations.
4. That steps be taken with appropriate departments of State governments similar
to those already established in North Carolina, Ohio, and Illinois.




'

APPEN D IX I.

LABOR AND VICTORY.
[A n address prepared and sent out for use in Fourth of July celebrations, 1918. About 2,000 copies were
distributed and it is estimated that it was heard b y more than 1,000,000 Negroes. J

This is a world struggle for democracy, and win it we must.
How^can we win it? There is but one way. Everyone— man,
woman, and child, be he a millionaire or a day laborer— must do his
level best at his work, wherever he may be, whether on the farm, at
the docks, in the machine shop, in the mill, at the White House in
Washington, in the kitchen, in the home, or in the trenches. Even
wealthy society women in our own country are giving up their luxu­
ries, children are giving up their candy, that the children of Europe
may have bread.
To win this war our soldiers must go to France and fight; but they
can not fight unless they have guns and ammunition. They can not
fight unless they have clothing and shoes, and tents, and plenty of
food. They can not have these things unless there are ships to carry
them to France. W e must have ships and more ships. W e must
build steel ships; we must build wooden ships; we must build con­
crete ships, to hurry our men and war supplies to the front. Thought­
ful men and women, how can our soldiers have clothing and shoes
and food? How can we have ships to carry our boys to France?
There is but one way. Every man, and every child and woman, must
work and save, to furnish food, to make clothing and shoes, to make
guns and ammunition, and to build ships. And do not forget that
any person, black or white, who does not work hard, who lags in any
way, who fails to buy a Liberty bond, or a War Savings stamp if he
can, is against his country and is, therefore, our bitter enemy.

I am nappy to say that the majority oi our men and faomen are
working like all other good Americans to make their labor win the
war. Only a few weeks ago the world's record for driving rivets in
building steel ships was broken by Charles Knight, a Negro workman
at Sparrows Point, Md. In one nine-hour day he drove 4,875 threequarter inch rivets in the hull of a steel ship. The newspapers of the
country have lauded him for his work. The British Government sent
him a prize of $125. Again, many of our men and women are making
records as workers in tne steel mills, in the coal mines, on the rail­
roads, and on the farms. Our thoughtful, interested cooks and other
helpers in the kitchen are really doing service at the front, by saving
all the food they can. The newspapers and journals of the country,
managed and edited by thoughtful men and women, are creating
sentiment that will do much toward winning the war. For instance,
the Albany (Ga.) Herald, a newspaper editea by Southern white men,
advised and suggested to ladies of the city who offered to make and
present to the city a service flag, that a service flag for Albany would
not be complete unless there were placed in its field a star not only
for every wnite soldier or sailor who has enlisted from Albany but a .



137

138

the

negro

at

w ork

d u r in g

the

w orld

w ar.

star for every Albanian, white or black. The first employee of this
newspaper to join the National Army was a Negro, and the first star
on the Herald’s service flag is his star.
Negroes are being asked in every city, town, and rural district to
join in this work of winning this war. We, like other folk, are hav­
ing an unusual chance to work and save our country. Let every one
of us be wide awake, and make the most of this opportunity/ Let
him bear in mind that every time he makes good on his job, he helps
his country and the race. Let him also remember that every time
a Negro falls down on his job, he pulls down his country and the
entire race, and thus makes winning the war less possible.
A few months ago a friend printed a card to help the Negro
workmen in factories and shops. The card read something like this:
WHY HE FAILED.

H e did not report on tim e ;
H e watched the clock;
H e loafed when the boss was not looking;
H e stayed out with the boys all night;
H e said, “ I forgot;”
H e did not show up on Monday, and
H e wanted a holiday every Saturday;
H e lied when asked for the truth.

There is still another thing we ought to think about, if we are to
make the most of these opportunities for saving our country. These
are times of great demands and great prosperity. Wages are high.
Everybody who will work can get work. Many who are working
now are making more money than they ever made. Many of our
families who have men in the Army are now getting from Uncle Sam
more cash money than they ever had at any one time before. What
then is the wise thing for us to do now \ In the words of the proverbs
of Solomon: “ Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways and
be wise. She layeth up her store in summer.” Now is the time to
work every day we can. Now is the time to work every hour we
can. Now is the time to make and save every dollar we can. Now
is the time*to buy every Liberty bond we can, and every War Savings
stamp that we can, in order that our country may have that liberty
for which she is fighting. The Negro has fought like a man in the
battles from Bunker H ill to San Juan Hill. He has died to keep the
American colors flying. Those left behind did their duty like soldiers,
and to-day there are hundreds of black boys at the front in France
laying down their very lives for their country, for you and for me.
W ill you, because of your refusal to work six days in every week, or
because of your failure to save as much food as you can, or because
of any lack of interest whatever on your part, have to answer to our
boys on their return, maimed in battle or even to men who never
return? W e are our brothers’ keepers; we, too, are soldiers on duty,
and in our hands rests the destiny of our country and our fellow men
America needs, expects, and asks every man to do his duty.




APPENDIX II.

CONSTITUTION OF THE NEGRO WORKERS’ ADVISORY COM­
MITTEE OF NORTH CAROLINA.
A rticle I. Name.—The name of this committee shall be the
Negro Workers’ Advisory Committee of North Carolina.
A rt. II. Purpose.— The purpose of this committee shall be to
study, plan, and advise in a cooperative spirit and manner with
employees of Negro labor, with Negro workers, and with the United
States Department of Labor in securing from Negro laborers greater
production in industry and agriculture for winning the war through
increasing regularity, application, and efficiency, through increasing
the morale* of Negro workers, and through improving their general
conditions.
A rt . III. Membership.—The membership of this.committee shall
be composed of not more than 30 persons, colored men and women of
North Carolina. At least five members shall be women. The
chairman of the North Carolina Council of Defense, the Federal
director of the United States Employment Service, and the State
t of, rural schools shall be cooperating members. The governor
be honorary chairman.
A rt. IV. Executive board.— There shall be an executive board of
nine chosen from the general committee. At least two members of
the executive board shall be women.
A rt . V. Appointments.— The members of the committee and of
the executive board shall, upon recommendation, be appointed by
the Secretary of Labor, who shall also designate the chairman and
the secretary. These officers shall serve for both the advisory com­
mittee and the executive board.
Upon the first appointment one-third of the members of both the
advisory committee and its executive board shall be appointed to
serve until January 1, 1919; one-third to serve until June 1, 1919;
and one-third to serve until January 1, 1920. Thereafter one-third
of the membership of the committee and its executive board shall be
appointed every six months to serve for a term of six months. The
cnairman and secretary shall serve for periods of six months each,
subject to reappointment.
A rt . VI. Meetings.— Section 1. The advisory committee shall
meet at least once every six months and at such other times as the
executive board may decide. Fifteen members shall constitute a
quorum.
Sec. 2. Tlie executive board shall meet at least once every other'
month and at such other times as the chairman and secretary shall
decide, unless otherwise ordered by the board. Six members shall
constitute a quorum. The chairman shall be required to call the
meeting of the executive board upon the written request of five
members.

K




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TH E NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

Sec. 3. The meeting place of the advisory committee and the
executive board shall be the State Capitol, unless otherwise ordered
by the executive board and approved by the Department of Labor.
A r t . VII. By-laws.—The executive board shall make such by­
laws and rules for the conduct of business as seem best, subject to
the approval of the advisor}^ committee, and the Department of
Labor.
A r t . VIII. Powers of the executive board.—The executive board
shall transact all business, make plans, enter into agreements, and
form such other acts as may be necessary for carrying out the purpose
of this committee. All such transactions, plans, agreements, or acts
shall be subject to revision by the advisory committee and the United
States Department of Labor, through its duly authorized repre­
sentatives.
A r t . IX . County committees.—The executive board shall nominate
for each county oi the State having in their judgment a sufficient
Negro population a county Negro workers’ advisory committee of
not more than 11 persons. These persons so nominated are to be
appointed by the Department of Labor upon recommendation of the
county council of defense of their respective counties. The chair­
men of the respective county councils of defense and such other
white citizens as may be selected by the Department of Labor shall
be cooperating members of the county advisory committee.
A r t . X . District committees.—The county advisory committee
may be authorized by the State committee to form district advisory
committees for localities in their respective counties where the Negro
population and local labor problems justify such district advisory
committees.
A r t . X I. Finances.—Neither this organization, its executive board,
or the county and district advisory committees, or any of their execu­
tive boards shall have power or authority to incur expenses or make
any financial agreements or contracts which shall in any way obli­
gate the State of North Carolina or the United States department
of Labor. No debts shall be incurred by this committee or its execu­
tive board or by any county or district committees or their respective
executive boaras unless previously provided for.
A r t . X II. Amendments.—Amendments may be made to this
constitution by two-thirds vote at a regular and duly called meeting
of this committee, provided such amendment shall have been pre­
viously approved by the governor of North Carolina and the United
States Department of Labor.




A P P E N D IX III.

CONSTITUTION OF THE NEGRO WORKERS’ ADVISORY COMMITTEE OF OHIO.
A r t i c l e I. Name.—The name of this organization shall be the
Negro Workers’ Advisory Committee of Ohio.
A r t . II. Purpose.—The purpose of this committee shall be to
study, plan, and advise in a cooperative spirit and manner with
employers of labor, with Negro workers, and with the United States
Department of Labor for the securing of additional opportunity for
employment to Negro labor and greater production in industry and
agriculture for winning the war through increasing regularity, appli­
cation, and efficiency, through improving the morale of Negro work­
ers, and through improving their general condition.
A r t . III. Membership.—The membership of this organization shall
be composed of not more than 30 persons, men and women, of Ohio.
At least 5 members'shall be women. The chairmen of the council
of defense, the Federal director of the United States Employment
Service, the Federal director of the Public Service Reserve shall be
ex officio members. The governor of Ohio shall be honorary chair­
man.
A r t . IV. Executive board.—There shall be an executive board of
nine chosen from the general committee. At least two members of
the executive board shall be women.
A r t . V. Appointments.—The members of the committee and of
the executive board shall, upon the recommendation of the exceutive
board and the indorsement of the Federal State director of the
United States Employment Service for Ohio, be appointed by the
Secretary of Labor, who shall also designate the chairman and the
secretary. These officers shall serve for both the advisory com­
mittee and the executive board. Thereafter, one-third of the mem­
bership of the committee and its executive board shall be appointed
every six months to serve for a term of 18 months. Upon the first
appointment one-third of the members of both the advisory com­
mittee and its executive board shall be appointed to serve until
January 1, 1919. The chairman and secretary shall serve for periods
of six months each, subject to reappointment. Membership on the
committee may be vacated on recommendation by a vote of twothirds of the committee.
A r t . VI. Meetings.— Section 1. The State advisory committee shall
meet at least once every six months and at such other times as the
executive board may ciecide. Fifteen members shall constitute a
quorum.
Sec. 2. The executive board shall meet at least once in every two
months, and at such other times as the chairman and secretary shall
decide, unless otherwise ordered by the board. Five members shall




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TH E NEGRO AT WORK DURING TH E WORLD WAR.

constitute a quorum. The chairman shall be required to call the
meetings of the executive board upon the written request of five
members of the board.
Sec. 3. The meeting place of the advisory committee and the exec­
utive board shall be the State capitol, unless otherwise ordered by
the executive board and approved by the Department of Labor.
A r t . VII. By-laws.—The executive board shall make such by-laws
and rules for the conduct of its business as seem best, not incon­
sistent with this constitution.
A r t . V III. Powers of the executive hoard.—The executive board
shall transact all business, make plans, enter into agreements, and
perform such other acts as may be necessary for carrying out the pur­
pose of this committee. All such transactions, plans, agreements,
or acts shall be subject to revision by the advisory committee and
the United States Department of Labor, through its duly authorized
representatives.
A r t . IX . County committees.—The executive board shall nominate
for each of the counties in the State, having in their judgment a
sufficient Negro population, a county Negro workers’ advisory com­
mittee of not more than 11 persons. These persons so nominated
are to be appointed by the Department of Labor upon recommenda­
tion of Federal State Director of the United States Employment
Service for Ohio.
A r t . X . Community committees.—The State advisory committee
may form community advisory committees for localities in their
respective communities where the Negro population and local labor
problems justify such community advisory committees. The com­
munity advisory committees shall cooperate in every practical and
honorable way with the county labor boards.
A r t . X I. Finances.—Neither this organization nor its executive
board, nor any county or community advisory committee, nor any of
their executive boards shall have power or authority to incur ex­
penses or make any financial agreements or contracts which shall in
anyw ay obligate the State of Ohio or the United States Department
of Labor. No debts shall be incurred bv this committee or its execu­
tive board or by any county or community committee or their
respective executive boards unless previously authorized.
A r t . X II. Amendments.—Amendments may be made to this con­
stitution by a two-thirds vote at a regular and duly called meeting of
the general committee, provided sucn amendment shall have been
previously approved by the executive board and the United States
Department of Labor.




A P P E N D IX IV.

CONSTITUTION FOR THE NEGRO WAR WORK COMMITTEE
OF KENTUCKY.
A r t i c l e I. Name.—The name of this committee shall be the Negro
War Work Committee of Kentucky.
A r t . II. Purpose.—The purpose of this organization shall be to
study, plan, and advise in a cooperative spirit and manner with
employers of Negro labor, with Negro workers, and with the United
States Department of Labor in securing from Negro laborers greater
production in industry and agriculture for winning the war through
securing wide opportunity for work, through increasing the morale
of Negro workers, and through improving their general efficiency
and condition; to promote the production and conservation of food in
conformity with the plans of the Food Administration and Depart­
ment of Agriculture; to promote the work of the Red Cross, Liberty
loans* and other war activities.
A r t . III. Membership.—The membership of this committee shall
be composed of not more than 30 persons, colored men and women of
Kentucky. A t least six members shall be women. The committee
on Negro organization of the Kentucky Council of Defense, the
Federal director of the United States Employment Service, the
Federal director of the Public Service Reserve, the Federal food
administrator of Kentucky, the director of farm extension in Ken­
tucky, the chairman of the American Red Cross, the executive
secretary of the War Camp Community Service, and representatives
of other war organizations shall be cooperating members. The
governor of Kentucky shall be honorary chairman.
A r t . IV. Executive board.—There shall be an executive board of
nine, chosen from the general committee. A t least three members of
the executive board shall be women.
A r t . V. Appointments.—The members of this committee and of
•the executive board shall be appointed as follows: One-third of the
members of general committee and of the executive board shall be
appointed by the Department of Labor; one-third by the Extension
Bureau, Department of Agriculture; and one-third by the Food
Administration. These members shall be designated also as the
committee of the Kentucky Council of Defense for the war work
among the colored people. The officers shall be a chairman and a
secretary, who will oe elected by the executive board. They shall
serve for both the general committee and the executive board.
Under the first appointment one-third of the members of both the
advisory committee and its executive board shall be appointed to
serve until January 1, 1919; one-third to serve until July 1, 1919;
and one-third to serve until January 1, 1920. Thereafter, one-third
of the membership of the committee and its executive board shall be
appointed every 6 months to serve for a term of 18 months. The
enairman and secretary shall serve for periods of six months each,
subject to reappointment./ There shall be a treasurer appointed by
the executive board. He shall be under bond for the iaithful per­
formance of such duties as the executive board may designate.



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THE NEGRO AT WORK DURING THE WORLD WAR.

A r t . VI. Meetings.— Section 1 . The general committee shall meet
at least once every six months and at such other times as the executive
board may decide. Fifteen members shah constitute a quorum.
Sec. 2. The executive board shah meet at least once every other
month and at such other times as the chairman and secretary shah
decide, unless otherwise ordered by the board. Five members shah
constitute a quorum. The chairman shah be required to call the
meeting of the executive board upon the written request of five
members of the advisory committee of the board or of both. The
calling o f the meetings of both the general committee and of the exec­
utive poard shah first have the approval of the Negro organization
committee of the council of defense.
Sec. 3. The meeting place of the general committee and the execu­
tive board shah be Louisvihe unless otherwise ordered by the exec­
utive board and approved by the council of defense.
A r t . VII. By-laws.— The executive board shah make such by­
laws and rules for the conduct of business as may seem best and in
conformity with this constitution.
A r t . VIII. Powers of the executive hoard.—The executiw board
shah transact ah business, make plans, enter into agreements, and
perform such other acts as may be necessary for carrying out the
purpose of this committee. All such transactions, plans, agreements,
or acts shah be subject to revision by the general committee, the
departments of the Federal Government involved, and the Kentucky
Council of Defense.
A r t . IX . County committees.—The executive board shah nominate
for each county of the State having in their judgment a sufficient
Negro population a county Negro war-work committee of not more
than nine persons. The persons so nominated shah be appointed by
the Departments of Labor and Agriculture, the Food Administration,
and the council of defense in the same manner as the State committee
and its executive board.
A r t . X . Community committees.—The county war-work committee
may be authorized by the State committee to form community warwork committees for localities in their respective counties where the
Negro population and local war-work problems justify such community
committees. This committee and its executive board and the county
and community committees shah cooperate with the community
labor boards of the Department of Labor.
A r t . X I. Finances.— Neither this organization, its executive
board, nor the county or community war-work committees, nor any
of their executive boards shah have power or authority to incur
expenses or make any financial agreements or contracts which shah
in any way obligate the State of Kentucky or the United States
Government. No debts shah be incurred by this committee or its
executive board or any county or community committees or their
respective executive boards unless previously provided for.
A r t . X II. Amendments.—Amendments may be made to this
constitution by two-thirds vote at a regular and duly cahed meeting
of this committee, provided each amendment shah have been pre­
viously approved by the executive board and the United States
departments herein named and by the Kentucky Council of Defense.




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