Pushing against the odds, African Americans became landowners, skilled workers, small businessmen and women, professionals, and ministers. In the Jim Crow economy, they started insurance companies, vocational schools, teachers colleges, cosmetic firms, banks, newspapers, and hospitals. They started their own unions and professional associations. In an age in which individuals proved unable to counter industrialization alone, they preached racial or collective uplift rather than individual self-reliance.
Emmer Martin Lancaster was appointed adviser for the Division of Negro Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Commerce on May 25, 1940. The division had been established in 1933. Lancaster filled a vacancy created by the resignation of Eugene Kinckle Jones. The National Negro Business advisory Council was formed to serve the Division of Negro Affairs. These records include correspondence with insurance companies owned and operated by Blacks, 1942 to 1953; correspondence with banks owned and operated by Blacks, 1942 to 1953; correspondence with Black lending institutions, 1942-1943; and correspondence and reports pertaining to Conferences on the Negro Business, 1940-1953.
Source note: RG 40, General Records of the Department of Commerce, Records of the Office of the Secretary, Records of the Advisor on Negro Affairs, 1940-1963, NC...