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Blacks in Kansas City, Part III--Business and Industry
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TitleBlacks in Kansas City, Part III--Business and Industry
AbstractThird in a series of four articles about the history of African Americans in Kansas City. It provides an overview of black business and industry, from the period before emancipation in 1865 to the present (1986). Starting in the late 1800s, African Americans were mostly "limited to household labor and unskilled jobs," but by 1913 "were securing jobs as barbers, cooks, railroad workers, and waitresses" in Kansas City.

The growth of job opportunities and black-owned businesses and business organizations in the 20th century are then discussed, with many examples such as Alpha Minor Smith, Reuben Street, Reverend James Wesley Hurse, T.B. Watkins, Felix Payne ("investment broker and bondsman"), Guy Davis ("Public Accountant and Auditor"), J.A. Wilson ("Kansas City's pioneer negro jeweler"), John Burns ("manager and former police officer"), Eureka Casket and Coffin Company, the Kansas City Urban League, the Kansas City Council of Employees, the Kansas City Nebro Directory, and Associated Negro Grocers.

"In 1870, Mrs. Alpha Minor Smith opened a dressmaking and notions shop in Kansas City. The Alpha Minor Smith Dress Shop was the first shop in the city to carry ready-to-wear clothing for ladies. Another successful businessman of the black community was Reuben S. Street. Mr. Street, owner of Street Enterprises, was one of K.C.'s leading businessmen. Street's Blue Room was known throughout the country as a popular meeting place."
AuthorLinnea Collins
DateFebruary 21-February 28, 1986
SourceKansas City Globe
LocationRamos Vertical File: Black Americans--Kansas City, Missouri
Volume14
Number10
Page1
SubjectEmployment
Business people
Nightclubs
Clothing stores
Jewelers
Local SubjectAfrican Americans
Job Discrimination
Businesses--Early
Businesses--Growth
Businesses--Small
Business Laws
Minor, Alpha Smith
Street, Reuben
Dressmakers
Funeral Homes
Hurse, James W.
Civic League
Watkins, Theron B.
Urban League
Payne, Felix
Davis, Guy D.
Wilson, J. A.
Brokers
Accountants
Burns, John W.
Police Officers
Firsts
IllustrationsNo
Item TypeNewspaper Article
LanguageEnglish
Access This ItemThis document is not available online. You may come to the Missouri Valley Room to view it or request a photocopy from the Library's Document Delivery service. http://www.kclibrary.org/copy-requests
Item ID217160
CONTENTdm number36648
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