Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African-American Newspapers

December 8, 1926

On December 8, 1926, the New York Amsterdam News reported on an employment campaign led by the Urban League. The story led by noting that as a result of the campaign the Hygrade Clothing Company (131 West 125th Street) agreed to hire two “colored typists in its mailing department,” and that “Miss Dolores Coles, 141 West Ninety-eighth street, and Miss Florence Cooke, 27 Jewett Avenue, Jersey City, were the two young ladies sent to these positions.”

The results of the campaign overall were more mixed. The Amsterdam News noted, “Some very interesting reactions have been shown by the personnel representatives of many of the stores visited. In an interview with Mr. Kirschbaum of Koch’s Department Store, he stated that there are five colored employees and six hundred white in their store. They have been in business in Harlem thirty-five years, but have never employed any colored persons in capacities other than matrons and porters. Mr. Kirschbaum stated that he would be willing to give colored a chance in every department of their store if he felt that 50 percent of their business was furnished by colored people. This was a very favorable interview, and may result in some very definite understanding.”

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