I wanted somewhere to put this long quote from Booker T. Washington (actually a chapter from this book):
- CHAPTER XXII
- PENSACOLA, A TYPICAL NEGRO BUSINESS COMMUNITY
- In some of the preceding chapters I have attempted to give some brief description of certain of the larger business enterprises which have sprung up in Negro communities where Negro business men have accumulated sufficient capital and business experience to justify them.
- It has seemed to me that it would be interesting to follow this with a more intimate study of the business enterprise of a single business community. I have selected as representative of that healthy progressive communal spirit, so necessary to our people, the city of Pensacola. I have chosen this city, not because I regard it superior to other Negro communities, but rather because it is typical and because, through the kindness of Mr. William Wilson and the Colored American Magazine, of New York, I have been able to secure more complete information in regard to this community than I have been able to obtain in regard to others.
- Pensacola, the "Deep Water City," is situated in the Western part of the State of Florida. Escambia County, of which Pensacola ie the county seat, joins a county in Alabama. Pensacola is called the " deep water city," because of the depth of its harbor, which is the deepest on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, having a depth of thirty-three feet at its bar channel, which enables the largest vessels in the world to easily enter the harbor. This circumstance has made Pensacola famous. The population of Pensacola is nearly twenty-eight thousand; and about one-half of this number are Negroes. They pay taxes on $450,000 worth of property. About one-half of the colored people own their homes. These homes are not of the one and two-room cottage variety, but are nicely built after the latest modern plans. Among these are fifty two-story houses of from eight to ten rooms.
- Of course, as in all other towns, Pensacola has a number of colored churches. There are five churches of the Zion connection; four of the Bethel and ten Baptist churches. Talbert Chapel, a large brick structure, with a seating capacity of twelve hundred, and a membership of five hundred, is the largest of the Zion churches. Rev. William Mosely is the pastor. Of the African Methodist Episcopal or Bethel churches, Allen Chapel is the largest. It has a membership of 400. The new edifice is just being completed, having been erected at a cost of $18,000. With a seating capacity of 1,400, it is the finest colored church in the city. It is pastored by the Rev. G. B. Williams.
- Mount Zion is the leading Baptist church in the city. The edifice now occupied is a large frame building, but a contract has recently been let for the erection of a brick structure with a seating capacity of one thousand. The membership of this church is 600 and, under the leadership of their pastor, Rev. Thomas Bellinger, has become, I am informed, a force for moral and social betterment in the community.
- The labor condition of the colored population of Pensacola has always been satisfactory. In no other city in the Union, it is claimed, is the Negro laborer so thoroughly in control of the labor situation in the field of both common labor and the trades. Labor unions are numerous, but they admit colored men to their organizations without difficulty and on the bay, where union labor alone is employed, the colored laborer is a valuable and respected factor. In the organizations themselves both races stand on an equal footing. In the Baymen, Lumbermen and Cotton Screwmen's Associations, both white and colored men work side by side in entire harmony under the same system, and the same scale of wages. This is also true of some of the other organizations. Secret organizations here, as elsewhere, play a considerable role in the social life of the colored population. The Masonic order has five lodges with a large aggregate membership. Two Royal Chapters and one Knight Templar represent higher masonry. The Odd Fellows have four lodges and a membership of 920. One of these lodges owns a large brick building which is used for a place of meetings and for offices. There are two lodges of Knights of Pythias, with a membership of 200 members. These lodges have now in course of erection a large hall. The Knights of Labor have 120 members in the city. There are other secret societies of less note.
- In the matter of education for the colored population there is still much to be desired. Complaint is made that the school term is not long enough and neither sufficient school room nor teachers to do the work required have yet been provided by the city.
- The Escambia High School and the Baptist Academy are private institutions. There are eight public schools for colored children. Twenty-six teachers are regularly employed.
- The professions are represented among the colored population by three lawyers and four physicians. The Negro lawyers seem to have the entire respect of the members of the bar and are accorded the same courtesies in the courts that are shown to white lawyers. The colored physicians are also succeeding finely.
- Isaac L. Purcell, C. H. Alston and George W. Parker are the barristers. All of them are admitted to practice in all state courts. Mr. Purcell is a member of the bar of the United States Supreme Court, having lately had several cases there.
- Doctors H. G. Williams, Charles V. Smith, C. S. Sunday, and M. S. G. Abbott compose the medical fraternity. Dr. Abbott is an alumnus of Shaw University and the remainder are all graduates of Meharry Medical College, Nashville. Dr. Smith is a native Pensacolian. He is a graduate of the Tuskegee Institute (where he was known as a brilliant student) and of Meharry, '94. He practiced in Georgia and southern parts of Florida before finally settling in Pensacola, where he came six years ago, and where he now enjoys the largest colored practice. He is a specialist, and is highly regarded in his community. Dr. Williams is a West Indian, and has practiced in Pensacola ten years. He is the proprietor and manager of the Pensacola Drug Store, and has a very large practice. Dr. Sunday is a son of John Sunday, and is a native of this city. He graduated from Meharry in 1898, and served during the Spanish-American War on a hospital boat.
- There are two weekly newspapers published by colored men in Pensacola. One of these is the Florida Sentinel, owned and edited by M. M. Lewey, a member of the Executive Committee of the National Negro Business League. Connected with the office of the Sentinel is a job printing office in which an extensive printing business is carried on. The Sentinel is printed on a large cylinder press which turns out 1,600 impressions an hour. It is the boast of the business manager of The Sentinel that it has the largest advertising patronage of any Negro paper in the South, except one.
- The colored population has its share of the clerkships in the postoffice. Six of the first-class clerks and four of the regular carriers are colored men. There are in Pensacola owned and conducted by colored men, one dry goods store, one job printing office, one tin shop, one undertaking establishment, one real estate agency, one Mutual Aid Society, five saloons, one locksmith, nine grocery stores, one wood and coal yard, six meat markets, thirty restaurants, fifteen barber shops (four exclusively for whites) two blacksmith shops, two wheelright shops, and one furniture store. There are of course various other smaller businesses that might be included.
- The grocery stores that are best known and do the most business are the Escambia Grocery Company, the Excelsior and the Economy Grocery Company. Alexander Oliver, who for a number of years was the head clerk in a large white wholesale grocery in this city, manages the "Escambia." D. J. Cunningham is proprietor of "The Excelsior" and C. J. Hardy is the manager of the "Economy."
- The one dry goods store, owned and conducted by colored men, is that of W. A. Woods & Co. Samuel Charles is one of the more substantial, colored business men in the city. He runs a colored shoe store and sells leather and findings. He is also the owner of considerable Pensacola real estate.
- One of the more prominent colored business men is George B. Green, proprietor of a furniture and general store. The building occupied by this store, is owned by Mr. Green who is also the owner of other valuable property. W. H. Harvey is proprietor of the only undertaking establishment in Pensacola conducted by a colored man.
- Because of the large number of sailors and visitors in Pensacola and because of its great import and export business, the saloon and restaurant businesses pay exceedingly well. There are two colored men here who conduct the best of such places — Joseph H. James and Richard Morris, Jr.
- The wealthiest colored man in that section of the state is John Sunday, who is said to pay taxes on $90,000 worth of property. He owns valuable holdings in the principal business streets of the city, and employs steadily a force of men to repair old and build new houses. He is worth, at a conservative estimate, it is said, $125,000.
- In addition to other enterprises Pensacola has a conservatory of music. This is conducted by William Charles Morris, who has studied in the music department at Tuskegee and in the Conservatory of Music, New York.
- There are numerous other small business enterprises among the colored population of Pensacola. Those that I have mentioned are sufficient to show to what extent, in the more progressive colored communities. in the South, members of the Negro race are learning to do their own business and direct their own affairs, while at the same time entering into relations of helpful co-operation with the members of the white population in the industrial and economic development of their city and state.
I would like to create this article at some point, but wanted to get some thoughts about the title. Is "African-American history" better than "African American history" (Wikipedia doesn't use the hyphen, though there's considerable debate about it), or would "Black history" be okay? — admin • talk 16:47, 10 October 2008 (UTC)