American History Essay Sample: Debates on Black Business,1900-1910

Published: 2019-08-28
American History Essay Sample: Debates on Black Business,1900-1910
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Slavery American history
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1301 words
11 min read

After the slavery, not more than 50 years the African Americans became aware of their place and they realized how their American white people treated them. Their place in society was influenced by their economic failure and success (Burroughs). The African American leaders started a debate focusing on how to become successful in the American society and attain their financial freedom and stability. Their aim was to come up with an identity that would create a contribution to the American society and which would lead to their recognition by their white counterparts. Among the prominent leaders was the black owned hair care business lady madam c. J Walker. During this time the black Americans were having a gradual urbanization and were loosing the white domination of the African American corporations and companies (Burroughs).

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Walker and her African American counterparts represented the new upper class which was a set of African American who obtained their financial freedom from other African Americans as opposed to the support or sponsorship from the whites. Madam Walker and other African American business owners like Annie Malone began to move from rural south to the urban centers in their quest for economic success and freedom (Washington). Walker came up with a hair straightener and a Black Skin Remover which she discussed in the debates and provided detailed information on how to use the products. The goal was to provide a refined African American features and to provide hair products to African people who during slavery had no access to any products made specifically for them (Washington).

New Negro

Burroughs actually uncovered in her article an emphasis on inward objectives that portrayed the advancement of the New Negro. While the Washington or DuBois debate was to a great extent communicated in economic terms, arranging American majority rule ideals in connection to African Americans' outer life, dialogs encompassing magnificence guidelines turned that exchange internal, stressing a need to accommodate one's own way of life as a key part in racial inspire (Burroughs). It was in the 1910s, as a few black possessed excellence organizations, for example, the Overton Hygienic Fabricating Company, the Annie Malone's Poro Company and the Walker manufacturing company. All these companies were starting to gain popularity and recognition in the American society (Washington).

Thus, while many advertisements of the 1910s and 1920s often still extolled New Discoveries of scientific hair treatments that would work as straighteners, there was also an increased focus on hair growth as the goal and on preventative measures against scalp diseases such as dandruff. Even the more obscure companies, in this case the Joyner-Gilmore Company based in Rochester, New York, proclaimed that their New Discovery could produce results in only ten minutes a day and without the use of drugs. Similarly, the Newell System promised relief from tight, itching scalp, Dandruff, Falling or Breaking Hair, or Bald Spots with its hair growing product Jeckey (Burroughs). In this way, the shifted emphasis of these hair product advertisements revealed the agenda of African American businesses in this time period. A new focus on common scalp diseases displaced the idea of black hair as inherently kinky, harsh, knotty, stubborn, short and thin, and implied instead that many of the frustrations African Americans might feel actually resulted from exterior forces like skin conditions (Washington). In other words, these ads shifted the blame, so that rather than telling African Americans that their hair was inherently defective, they attributed some these qualities to more controllable factors.

The development and message of the black hair care industry, be that as it may, was neither as direct nor as entirely positive or empowering as these ads may propose. Ads from the Walker Manufacturing Company specifically may give a skewed perspective of all black possessed excellence organizations. While hers were positively helpful and important to any investigation of this period, Madam Walker's ads, particularly in the 1920s, were a great deal more intricate, more express in message, and more various than a large number of the smaller organizations likely had the subsidizing to be. All through the 1910s and 1920s, Walker Manufacturing Company distributed a bunch of ads, frequently full-page, using taglines, for example, Constant Care, Not Luck, Makes Your Hair Look Its Best, and Why Not Earn More Money, Work Shorter Hours, Better Your Condition? Learn Beauty Culture: The Trade of No Regrets (Washington).' One can't overlook.

Black hair care organizations confronted an altogether different world in the mid 1930s than they had at the turn of the century. The Stock Market collapse of 1929 had propelled a depression that influenced each part of society, from item costs and business to interest in social exercises, counting brotherly associations and even churches (Burroughs). These impacts were excessively felt by the African American group, which kept on encountering racial separation even as a great part of whatever is left of the nation was feeling the advantages of New Deal legislation. In the early years of his organization, President Franklin D. Roosevelt expressly told an individual from the NAACP that he would not push legislation that would help African Americans, contending that his own particular backing of legislation much the same as an against lynching bill would just serve to distance preservationist Southern government officials whose backing was pivotal to the legislation he considered vital to keep America from collapsing. He clarified, I can't take that risk (Washington).'

While changing political and ideological patterns started to cure some of these since the Depression hit with remarks, for example, I don't go to chapel as regularly as I used to. You know I am not altered like I need to, lack the garments I need. This announcement, when brought in conjunction with the time's drop in social cooperation in clubs and brotherly requests, recommends that this decay was more than simply the consequence of an absence of optional salary for the exercises themselves (Burroughs). The announcement that You know I am not altered like I need to beuncovers that a specific tasteful had come not out of the ordinary at such social occasions. In this way, while design and excellence could by numerous guidelines be viewed as a liberality, they were not by any methods considered shallow or incidental to African American lives (Washington).

Despite what might be expected, benchmarks of magnificence influenced, to a limited extent, black extracurricular situation and interest. Without a doubt, battling black Americans did frequently forego their excellence routine when cash was short (Burroughs). Especially in the provincial south, where an outing to the magnificence parlor was even to a greater extent a special treat,' rising costs forced under the new regulations fundamentally served as an impediment to salon visits. Still, the ascent of the hair care industry in the primary quarter of the century had ritualized excursions to the beautician, and black ladies proceeded with their magnificence regimen all through the Depression years, in some cases paying with nourishment in the event that they didn't have the cash (Burroughs). In reality, more than hair alone, salons offered magnificence, unwinding, and sociability, which, likewise with the African Americans who quit going to chapel occasions when they no more felt they had the proper apparel, fortifies the thought that excellence had turned out to be inseparably tied. Madam C. J. Walker was a successful business lady who contributed to a financial freedom of the African American citizens and even when she died, she left a huge amount of wealth to the black community. (Washington).

Works Cited

Burroughs, Nannie. " Not Color But Character." Voice of the Negro (1904): 50-120.

Washington, Booker T. The Negro Problem: A Series of Articles by Representative. New York: AMS Press, Inc., 1970.

Secondary sources

Archives and collections

Indiana Historical Society, Indianapolis, Indiana Madam C.J. Walker (1867-1919) Papers, 1910-1980; Boxes


The Baltimore Afro-American

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