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Eugene Kinckle Jones and the struggle to keep the National Urban League afloat during the Great Depression.

The late 1920s ushered in a new day in national reform policies. Eugene Kinckle Jones (1885-1954), the Executive Secretary to the National Urban League (NUL) 1916-1940 had already proven himself to be a progressive reformer by the arrival of the 1930s. This essay will examine Jones' fund raising activities, his relations with white philanthropists and his position with an important department within the federal government during the New Deal--the Department of Commerce.

As the stock market crash of late 1929 consumed the nation's attention, the efforts of Eugene Kinckle Jones and other trained black social workers intensified. Jones and the NUL had succeeded in developing a cadre of individuals to deal with the dispossessed population of black urban people. Jones had not only worked to secure avenues to train black social workers, but had fought to have them accepted as professionals of equal status to white social workers. Much of the duality in American social work during the early twentieth century was based upon the separate but [not] equal principles of Jim Crow. (1.)

As the 1930s approached Jones had already began to systematically address the financial concerns of the overworked NUL. Other issues were mounting around the nation for black Americans, particularly the concerns of labor and employment. The labor issue did not appear in black America as a result of the Great Depression. Black Americans were dealing with the lack of employment opportunities long before there were the national concerns triggered by the stock market crash. (2.) The NUL had dealt with the labor issue from the time it was founded in 1910 at New York City. However, it was Jones' "leadership and character [that] shaped [the] NUL during those crucial years." (3.) There were a host of field workers, social workers, and local affiliate executives and organizers who aided this national cause. As was customary Jones worked constantly to establish as many local branches of the NUL as was possible.

In 1914 Jones decided to bring on an assistant to aid him in the national office. T. Arnold Hill a native of Richmond, Virginia and graduate of Virginia Union University was hired for the position. Hill had also completed one year of study in economics and sociology at New York University. By December of 1916, after Jones became the permanent Executive Secretary of the NUL, the National Office decided that Hill would best serve the Chicago community by establishing a local affiliate there. Hill headed the Chicago branch of the Urban League until he was summoned back to New York in 1925 as the director of the newly established Department of Industrial Relations. This division of the NUL's programs worked directly with industry to help secure employment for the local black urban populations. Overall it aimed "to standardize and coordinate the local employment agencies of the League to assure applicants for work an efficient and helpful service, and employers efficient workers." (4.) T. Arnold Hill became the reliable person for this most important component of the NUL's agenda. (5.) Between 1914-1925, Hill worked diligently to convince the city of Chicago of the urgency to include African Americans for industrial employment. Following the Chicago race riots of 1919, Hill and other black and white leaders of Chicago worked hard to provide the black community with "proper police protection." Historian William A. Tuttle noted, "while the lynchings of the Red Summer were usually confined to the South, practically half of the epidemic of race riots burst forth in Northern and border states." (6.)

In the meantime Jones was still deep in the trenches of securing financial support for the day-to-day operations of the NUL. Jones remained incessant in his approach for the solicitation of monies to support the NUL's programs. As the decade of the 1920s drew to a close, the NUL financially began to encounter greater difficulty.

Jones kept amongst the files of the NUL a statement entitled, "The Octopus and Its Tentacles." This document detailed the 'Endowed Foundations.' The seven foundations were "thereby destroying faith in God and in a duly constituted and orderly government." The seven foundations chronicled were the Rosenwald Foundation, The Laura Spelman Rockfeller Foundation, The General Education Board, The Carnegie Corporation, Milbank Memorial Fund, Common/Wealth Fund, and Russell Sage Foundation. The author of the document stated that together the 'seven' had a combined endowment fund of about $500,000,000. They "were bound together each of the seven to do its particular work, but welded together for the destruction of civilization and regular and orderly government." The Rosenwald Fund was not believed to be one of the seven "but nevertheless is working with them for the same purpose." (7.) Given that this could be viewed as damaging propaganda, Jones methodically worked to establish more conciliatory relations with these philanthropic agencies.

It is not clear whether Jones gave the document much attention at all. However he did begin a letter writing and solicitation campaign shortly thereafter. He wrote to the Julius Rosenwald Fund on January 2, 1930 to thank the fund for its continual support of the NUL's programs. While wishing the officers of the Fund a prosperous New Year he made it clear that "we are hoping that we may continue to merit your confidence." (8.) Traditionally from the time of its founding the NUL did not participate in direct action agitation like such organizations as the NAACP. Most of the NUL's budget came from the Altman, Carnegie, Rosenwald, and Rockfeller philanthropies therefore it "placed its stock in conciliation and private negotiations." The NUL typically did not advocate politics or agitation. This was about to change by the late 1920s. (9.)

In 1928 Elmer Carter succeeded Charles S. Johnson as editor of the Opportunity. The Opportunity was the print voice of the NUL. The switch that occurred with the Opportunity's focus was to one of highlighting economics and politics. This new approach was two-fold. Carter's approach and the growing stress on the African American community in economics and the lack of political access signaled this change in the format of the Opportunity. The African American condition in the American labor force had not improved and the AFL in 1927 still refused to accept African Americans. While T. Arnold Hill of the Industrial Relations Division of the NUL continued to deal with the labor issue, Jones kept the national office focused on financial security for the overall operations of the League. (10.)

As the NUL prepared to celebrate its Twentieth Anniversary in 1930, Jones appeared more concerned with the continual development of the League's national agenda. He wrote again to the Rosenwald Fund on January 22, 1930 soliciting "an appropriation of $10,000.00" (11.) He had 'three distinct request for the year 1930.' First, he sought the renewal of the Fund's annual contribution of $1,000. The second and third request were "associated one with the other." Jones made a rather substantial request from the Fund of $10,000.00 to cover the cost of salaries, office assistance and traveling expenses of a field secretary for new branches. He further sought an appropriation from the Fund of a sum not to exceed $50,000.00 available over a period of two years. This was thought to enable the League to begin doing work in communities where there were no League activities. (12.) There are no records that exist to reveal the results of this request. Therefore this writer concludes that the Fund did not provide Jones with funding for such a request particularly in the midst of the Depression.

The Rosenwald Fund appears to have cut it's funding from some of its existing contributions to the NUL as well. On July 2, 1931 Jones wrote to the Fund's Representative George R. Arthur expressing disappointment that a "Mr. Squires was not included" as a fellowship appointee. (13.) Jones had assumed that the Fund would support three appointments. Arthur informed Jones a week later that ... "I know that you are disappointed concerning Mr. Squires ..." He further sought to assure Jones that "the Committee did not see its way clear to grant more than two fellowships to your organization this year ..." He closed by informing Jones that the number of "fellowship grants this year was not as many as those granted for the 1930-31 period." (14.) In October 1931 Jones wrote to Edwin R. Embree of the Rosenwald Fund thanking him for an autographed copy of his new book, Brown America. He assured Embree that he would review it for the upcoming edition of the Opportunity. Along with the letter he sent Embree a "personal" copy of the League's last Annual Report. In closing Jones stated to Embree, "I hope that you can peruse it [Annual Report] so that you can gain a clearer idea of the reason I consider the Urban League's program most important and far reaching. (15.)

During the annual meeting of the NUL in 1932, Jones' address to the attendees made national headlines. The New York Times reported that "Executive of Urban League Reports 'Almost Criminal Discrimination on Jobs.'" Jones stated during the Conference that "Negro unemployment had been subjected to "almost criminal in the current depression." The Depression hit Black America hard and Jones and the NUL carefully monitored every sign of worsening conditions. To be sure, Jones' commitment to the NUL and its national agenda was an intense effort. However Jones' role in the NUL had not yet reached its zenith. (16.)

By 1932 Jones definitely turned his attention to joining with the efforts of the New Deal and what could be secured as relief in distressed black urban communities. Jones appears to have been overworked by this time in his career. In conjunction with the NUL he also remained a major force on the Executive Board of the National Conference of Social Workers (NCSW) from 1925-1933. After his stint with the executive board of the NCSW Jones prepared to begin spending part of his time in Washington as a New Deal agent in 1933.

In April 1933 Jones submitted to President Franklin D. Roosevelt a forty-five-page memorandum summarizing the "important social facts pertaining to the Negro population of the United States." Jones declared, "too often when steps are taken to ameliorate social conditions, Negroes are not given equitable consideration." (17.) Jones concluded for the President in excellent summation the African American condition in several categories: population, occupational status, unemployment and relief, special problems of employment, education, health, housing, recreation and leisure, delinquency, and civil rights. (18.)

Though the activities occurring in Washington were of major importance to Jones he continued to correspond with the Julius Rosenwald Fund for financial assistance with the work of the Industrial Relations Department and the headquarters operational expenses in New York City. In an effort to continue to monitor New Deal regulations and agencies in July 1933, Jones wrote again to Edwin R. Embree, President of the Fund. The NUL wished to establish a temporary office to facilitate "the hearing on the codes for the various industries and to have a central point there where we can receive complaints from various communities of the failure of Negroes to receive fair consideration ..." Jones felt that this would keep T. Arnold Hill better informed in the New York office of the NUL. (19.)

On August 1, 1933 Jones learned that Embree did not turn down the proposal right away. Nevertheless, he did suggest a rather surprising merger. Embree replied, "I have long hoped that some merger or union could be effected between the Negro national agencies whose headquarters are New York--the Urban League and the NAACP." He further wrote, "friends and potential givers have no single agency through which they can express their interest." The Fund felt that the greatest usefulness of the two organizations could be best utilized if they met on a unified front. The Fund was concerned about the decrease in funding during the Depression years. Embree closed his letter to Jones with further surprise; "So important does this matter seem to us in this office that we feel unwilling to make further contributions to either of these organizations in their present state of division ..." (20.)

Jones' response was swift and direct. He replied, "the programs of the two organizations have been so different in their approach and methods that no action has been taken looking towards the consummation of the idea." Jones did express, however, a willingness to consider entertaining the proposed idea. He stated to Embree in reply, "Knowing as you do the purposes and programs of the two organizations and the differences in their respective approaches to problems we face ..." He further opined, "I would be much interested in hearing from you as the means you would propose for effecting the merger." This idea was obviously nothing more than just that. Furthermore Jones' attention was growing more attuned to what was happening in Washington, D. C. to relieve the suffering of black people through the aid of the federal government. (21.)


During Jones' time in Washington away from the NUL, he guarded its New York office with a watchful eye. Though cautious he also endeavored to make the NUL's presence felt during his tenure in Washington. Jones repeatedly advocated the philosophy of the NUL through his internal access with the government. Two writers concluded, "Kinckle Jones's major contribution during this time was in representing black interests at the inner core of the federal establishment." Perhaps no other individual amplified the national lack of black employment and the need for economic stability, as did Jones through his direct involvement with the federal government from 1933-1936. (22.)

On October 18, 1933 The New York Times announced that Secretary "Roper Appoints E. K. Jones, Negro Economist to Head Racial Problems Study Board." Jones' appointment was a major milestone within the Department of Commerce. He was to "head the Commerce Department unit for the study of Negro problems." In October of 1933, Jones took a temporary leave of absence from his position as Executive Secretary of the NUL. From 1933-1936 he served as the Director of the Commerce Department's division for the study of "Negro" problems. T. Arnold Hill served as the acting Executive Secretary of the League from 1933-1936. (23)

The New York Times proclaimed Jones "an institution in himself." (24.) In spite of the enormous praise Jones received for this major appointment with the Department of Commerce as Advisor of Negro Affairs, it did not meet with unanimous support in the black community. Carter G. Woodson criticized Jones and other black leaders who endorsed the Franklin D. Roosevelt ticket for President in 1932. "Woodson condemned blacks who were appointed to "Jim Crow" Federal positions set aside to reward Negro Politicians ..." Woodson was rather adamant in his stance against those who expressed any real admiration in the American political system. Most blacks had joined "Roosevelt's bandwagon by 1936, Woodson refused to join them, contending, "the Negro should not cast his vote for a party that does not recognize him." (25.) He went so far as to condemn Mary McLeod Bethune who headed the Special Advisory Committee designed by the Roosevelt Administration. He even admonished everyone who worked under her guidance known as the "Black Cabinet." Bethune was also the National President of the organization that Woodson founded in 1915--the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History from 1935-1950. (26.)

To be sure, Jones was engaged in the activities of the Roosevelt Administration from the start. He was an important component in the makeup of the "Black Cabinet." Shortly after Jones' arrival in Washington he began receiving correspondence from Jesse O. Thomas, Southern Field Director of the NUL. Thomas informed Jones on December 16, 1933 that "the grossest kind of discrimination is practiced against Negroes in Jackson." Thomas quoted to Jones what one man had informed him of while he was in Jackson, Mississippi. The man "claimed that he and two hundred other Negroes were working under the CWA [Civil Works Administration] and receiving only thirty cents and hour when their cards were marked forty cents." Jackson was an example of the major task that Jones and others like him were charged with trying to safeguard against happening throughout black America. Despite the New Deal's national efforts its distribution had to be monitored against local acts of discrimination. For instance, it was found that in Jackson, Mississippi there was much improvement needed in the local "Negro" employment situation. Thomas informed Jones:</p> <pre> On the million-dollar post office, the only Negro labor employed was unskilled labor. Some of the work included in the CWA project is the repairing of the school buildings. They are using white mechanics to repair Negro school buildings when there are any number of Negro mechanics in Jackson who are competent and have been on relief. (26.) </pre> <p>This was the kind of activity that Jones was referring to in April of 1933 when he urged Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor not to overlook the concerns of "Negro" labor. "In a widely-publicized letter in April, Perkins assured ... Eugene Kinckle Jones, that blacks would not be overlooked in the administration's vast reconstruction plans ... for employment and relief." It seems that even Secretary Perkins could not have predicted the outcome of the events in Jackson, Mississippi. (28.)

As historian Clarke Chambers has noted, "of all Franklin Roosevelt's official family, none perhaps had greater influence on the shaping of domestic policies than the spirited and pragmatic Frances Perkins." Perkins was a social worker by profession. She had also advised Roosevelt while he was Governor of New York. Therefore it was no real surprise when she was appointed in late 1932 as Secretary of Labor in the Roosevelt Administration. (29.) Perkins belonged to the "women's network" in Washington, D. C. during the New Deal. The women's network was a group of middle class white women who led the early twentieth century women suffrage movement.

By the time of the New Deal, many of the individuals were close friends of Eleanor Roosevelt. Historian Susan Ware found that "the network encompassed virtually all of the women in top federal jobs in Washington in the 1930s ..." Ware further states that "the only omission was prominent black educator Mary McLeod Bethune, head of the Office of Minority Affairs in the National Youth Administration from 1936-1944." (30) Though Ware suggested that Bethune probably saw herself as the representative of black people--it is without question that the women's network did not include her in its social gatherings, due to her race. It was during the many social outings that these women were able to strategize. Ware concluded that due to "close friendship and loyalty": these women created a network. Ultimately the women's network was "both a sad and provocative commentary on the 1930s and the attitudes the other women brought to their government jobs." (31.)

Not to be deterred by the obvious racial attitudes of the era Bethune, Jones and a host of other black cabinet advisors to the Roosevelt Administration gathered in Washington by late 1933. Notwithstanding, wrote historian Harvard Sitkoff, "The Roosevelt Administration perpetuated more of the discrimination and segregation inherited from previous decades than it ended." In spite of the obvious day-to-day persistence of racial attitudes within society, the "New Deal's arousal of sympathy for the forgotten man generated reform impulses that would revolutionize the black freedom struggle." This period has since been termed, by some, as the Second Reconstruction. (32.)

Initially President Roosevelt had no intentions of establishing a position that would allow anyone to oversee the African American interest in the recovery program. His greatest fear was that he would receive a major backlash from southern Democrats who were very influential in Congress at the time. Will Alexander and Edwin Embree approached the President with this idea in early 1933. The President did not approve of the position until the Rosenwald Fund agreed to pay the salary for a special assistant to work on the economic status of "Negroes." The Chief Executive was then free to bypass Congress' approval for such a position.

Ironically, Secretary of Interior Harold Ickes who usually held a liberal position, appointed southern, young, white, religiously oriented, Clark Foreman. To be sure, the black press admonished the appointment of a white southerner to address the needs and concerns of black America. (33.) The black community's leadership was appalled in spite of Foreman's liberal background. Aubrey Williams and Foreman were two noted southern reformers who helped to "shape and administer, respectively, the Works Progress Administration and Public Works Administration ..." (34.) Williams and Foreman included non-discriminatory approaches in their programs. After much resistance from black leaders over the selection of Foreman the Rosenwald Fund decided to finance a black secretary as well. Robert Weaver was picked to fill this most important position. (35.) Weaver was a graduate of Harvard University with a doctorate in economics. The appointment of Weaver met with approval from the African American community's leadership. In spite of this major effort to move forward with accomplishments, prior to 1934 Ickes and his assistants accomplished "little as watchdogs for the Negro's welfare." (36.)

By early 1934 Ickes had obtained the President's approval to form an interdepartmental committee on "Negro" affairs. Jones of the Commerce Department, Robert L. Vann of the Justice Department, Forrester B. Washington of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA), and Harry Hunt of the Farm Credit Administration along with Ickes, Foreman and Weaver regularly began meeting with white representatives of the National Recovery Administration (NRA), the Civilian Conservation Corporation (CCC), the Agriculture Department, and the military services. By 1935 there were several young black men who were granted positions in some of the cabinet departments and the New Deal agencies in general. Despite their regular meetings, they could not claim many victories during Roosevelt's first term. Jones and William Pickens of the NAACP were "seasoned veterans for the civil rights movement." (36.) It was they who helped to lay the groundwork for the coming decades of the modern civil rights movement. Historian Patricia Sullivan contends that, "the New Deal era marked a departure from the national complacency that characterized the 1920s. For those who had not participated in the prosperity of the previous decade, it was a welcome change." Jones and those involved with the inter-departmental work viewed the 1930s as a great opportunity for overall advancement in the African American community. (38.)

This inter-departmental group held its first meeting on the morning of February 7, 1934 in the Department of Interior. The meeting was chaired and called to order by Clark Foreman, Adviser on Economic Status of Negroes. This group was formulated as a result of "heads of the Departments and Administrations were asked to designate someone as responsible for the participation of the Negroes in the work of each department ..." According to the minutes this first meeting "showed a large attendance." Several prominent individuals were apart of the group that began doing this most important work of securing for the "Negro" population its share of government relief. Along with Jones from the Department of Commerce the Following individuals were present:

E. H. Shinn, Department of Agriculture

Phil Campbell, AAA

Robert L. Vann, Attorney General's Office

Forrester B. Washington, CWA

J. J. McEntee, Emergency Conservation Work

H. A. Hunt, Farm Credit Administration

Edward F. McGrady, Department of Labor

Charles F. Roos, NRA

William D. Bergman, Navy

G. R. Clapp, TVA

W. H. Reynolds, Treasury Department

W. D. Searle, War Department

Clark Foreman, Interior Department

Robert C. Weaver, Interior Department (39.)

Each individual was introduced and asked to "tell in two or three minutes of the work of his department as it affected particularly the Negro population." Jones stated to the group that:</p> <pre> his Division grew out of a conference of twelve Negroes called together by Secretary Roper to advise with him on the things the department of Commerce can do to improve the general economic conditions among Negroes, with special reference to business and business activities. Their idea has been that Negro business cannot qualify unless the Negro's consumer purchasing power is raised (40.) </pre> <p>Jones's division had the t ask of "putting new life in Negro business to avoid the unfortunate failure of the past." (41.) This committee of individuals continued to meet periodically during Roosevelt's first term in office. Despite their stalwart efforts many of their concerns and points of advice often fell on deaf ears. Social work scholar Jacob Fisher contends that,</p> <pre> With the exception of Ickes and Perkins, perhaps no one in high office in the government considered racial discrimination major significance when compared with the greater objectives of business recovery, the end of mass unemployment, higher farm prices, banking reform, social security, and the other stated objectives of the New Deal. (42.) </pre> <p>Even President Roosevelt refused to address the NAACP's concerns of an anti-lynching bill during the 1930s. Moreover, perhaps the greatest shortcoming of the entire Roosevelt Administration was the obvious omission of black representation on the Committee on Economic Security. (43.)

In the fall of 1934 the President appointed the Advisory Council to the Committee on Economic Security. Most of the council was made up of state and local politicians along with several prominent social workers. Frank P. Graham chaired the committee and Paul Kellog, editor of the Survey, was vice-chairman. There were no black representatives on such an important committee. It was this council that helped to formulate perhaps one of the most important legislative bills of the entire New Deal--Social Security. It was the Council's responsibility to report to the Senate Finance Committee, which then went on to the President. (44.)

Both the NUL and NAACP made a joint effort to influence the Social Security Act from its inception. Walter White of the NAACP questioned Senator Robert F. Wagner of New York who sponsored the bill "whether it contained adequate safeguards against discrimination on account of race." Although Senator Wagner assured both organizations, it was to no avail. In the end, the Social Security program "excluded agricultural and domestic employees from its provisions for unemployment compensation and old-age insurance." The NAACP protested to President Roosevelt that it "excluded 65 percent of the Negroes throughout the country." (45.)

Rather than become consumed by obvious omissions, Jones directed his attention while in Washington toward increasing black labor opportunities, which allowed for him to keep with the mission of the NUL. Some scholars have concluded that the black cabinet had very little success. On the surface their conclusions appear quite substantiated. Particularly, when the concerns of "Negro ... unemployment and the need for low cost housing" are the only measures by which many scholars have calculated success. To be sure, the gains that African American achieved during the New Deal were largely because of the relentless efforts of Jones and a cadre of black professionals who worked with Mary McLeod Bethune and the Roosevelt Administration. (46.)

In June 1935 Jones reported to the Secretary of Commerce, Daniel C. Roper that he had delivered 91 public addresses since taking office in November 1933. In practically every appearance by Jones, he addressed issues of economic and social welfare concerns for African Americans again leaving an imprint of the NUL. He stated, "at every available opportunity, in conferences and when addressing public gatherings, the services offered by the Department of Commerce through the Washington District offices were presented." Jones aided black employment by helping to create 294 white-collar jobs by 1935 in thirty selected cities, by outlining "a plan for the study of Negro Business Resources" through "the President's work relief program." Jones reported to Secretary Roper that "the main object of the study would be to procure data which can be utilized to improve general business practices among Negroes, and to expand their business institutions ..." (47.) Furthermore Jones took this message of economic empowerment to black communities in Washington, D. C.; Massillon, Ohio; New York City; Montreal, Quebec; Canton, Ohio; Dover, Delaware; and Flushing, New York to name a few of the places he traveled. Chester H. McCall assistant to the Secretary informed Jones that the Secretary was pleased with his work for the quarter and "the most appropriate comment we can make is keep up the good work." (48.)

Jones was the voice of the African American community in the Department of Commerce during this time. Secretary Roper reported in October 1935, that Jones "worked chiefly through the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce as liaison between the Bureau and Negro business men and students to economic questions to help Negro business and to increase the purchasing power of the members of the race." (49.) While Jones served as the advisor of Negro Affairs of the Department of Commerce, several studies of great importance to the black community were conducted and published. Jones reported in July 1936 that his office was continuing to "work on the four studies which have been in progress during the past year ..." They were Negro Air Pilots, Negro Chambers of Commerce, Negro Trade Associations, and Negro Insurance Company Failures. (50.)

As Jones prepared to leave the Department of Commerce in December 1936, there were a total of 240 African Americans working through the Department of Commerce. (51.) Secretary Roper later informed James A. Farley, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, that "because of the well organized condition in which Jones left his work, we have promoted Charles E. Hall, a Negro, who has been employed in the Census Bureau ..." In 1936 Jones prepared to return to his job as Executive Secretary of the NUL fulltime. Secretary Roper felt that Jones had rendered a very valuable service "as Head of the Unit in the Bureau of Foreign & Domestic Commerce relating to Negro industrial relations." It is doubtful that had Jones not spent the previous two decades in New York City at the helm of the of the NUL that his successful work in Washington would not have come to fruition. Because of Jones' expertise in his chosen field of economics this division of the government felt that it could "render better and more effective service to the Negroes than theretofore." (52.) Jones was a definite force to be reckoned with by the time of the Great Depression in American history. He and the NUL were synonymous as American institutions. Jones also proved to be effective regardless of whether he worked in government, as head of a racial uplift agency, or as a social worker. He was a multi-talented figure who gained national notoriety between New York and Washington.


*Dr. Felix Armfield is an Associate Professor in the Department of History and Social Studies Education at Buffalo State College, Buffalo NY.

(1.) Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn, Black Neighbors: Race and the Limits of Reform in the American Settlement House Movement, 1890-1945. Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press, 1993.

(2.) Charles H. Wesley, Negro Labor in the United States, 1850-1925: A Study in American Economic History. New York: Russell & Russell, 1967. William H. Harris, The Harder We Run: Black Workers Since the Civil War. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982 and Sterling D. Spero and Abram L. Harris, The Black Worker: The Negro Labor Movement. New York: Atheneum, 1968.

(3.) Guichard Parris and Lester Brooks, Blacks in the City: A History of the National Urban League. Boston and Toronto: Little, Brown and Company, 1971, p.156.

(4.) Dona Cooper Hamilton, "The National Urban League During the Depression, 1930-1939: The Quest for Jobs for Black Workers" (Ph.D. Diss., Columbia University, 1982), p. 62-63 and William H. Harris, Keeping the Faith: A. Philip Randolph, Milton P. Webster, and the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, 1925-37. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, p. 21-25, 1977.

(5.) Arvah E. Strickland, History of the Chicago Urban League. Urbana and London: University of Illinois Press, 1966, p. 26-28. Nancy Weiss. The National Urban League, 1910-1940. New York: Oxford University Press, 1974, p. 176-201 and Jesse Thomas Moore, Jr. A Search for Equality: The National Urban League, 1910-1961. University Park and London: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1981, p. 66-67.

(6.) William M. Tuttle, Jr. Race Riot: Chicago in the Red Summer of 1919. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1970, p. 61 and Charles S. Johnson, The Negro in Chicago: A Study of Race Relations and a Race Riot. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1922. See also Arvah Strickland, History of the Chicago Urban League.

(7.) Unknown author, "The Octopus and Its Tentacles." The National Urban League (NUL) Papers, Series IV, Box Miscellaneous. Library of Congress, Washington, DC

(8.) January 2, 1930, to Julius Rosenwald Fund from Eugene Kinckle Jones. Rosenwald Fund Archives, Box 306, Folder 9. Amistad Collection, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana.

(9.) Harvard Sitkoff, A New Deal For Blacks: The Emergence of Civil Rights as a National Issue; Volume I: The Depression Decade. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978. p. 24.

(10.) Ibid. p. 24. See also T. Arnold Hill, "Labor: Open Letter to Mr. William Green, American Federation of Labor," Opportunity, vol. VII (Feb. 1930), p. 56-57.

(11.) See also Hill's Open Letter.

(12.) January 22, 1930 to The Julius Rosenwald Fund from Eugene Kinckle Jones. Rosenwald Fund Archives, Box 306, Folder 9.

(13.) July 2, 1931 to George R. Arthur, The Julius Rosenwald Fund from Eugene Kinckle Jones. The Rosenwald Fund Archives, Box 306, Folder 9.

(14.) July 7, 1931 to Eugene Kinckle Jones from George R. Arthur. Rosenwald Fund Archives, Box 306, Folder 9.

(15.) October 17, 1931 to Edwin R. Embree, Julius Rosenwald Fund, from Eugene Kinckle Jones. Rosenwald Fund Archives, Box 306, Folder 9.

(16.) The New York Times, Thursday, February 11, 1932.

(17.) April 15, 1935, Eugene Kinckle Jones, Executive Secretary--NUL to the Honorable Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States--White House. RG 48, Box 506, Department of Interior, Office of the Secretary, National Archives, Washington, D.C.

(18.) Ibid.

(19.) July 28, 1933 to Edwin R. Embree, President of the Julius Rosenwald Fund from Eugene Kinckle Jones. Rosenwald Fund Archives, Box 306, Folder 10.

(20.) August 1, 1933 to Eugene Kinckle Jones from Edwin R. Embree. Rosenwald Fund Archives, Box 306, Folder 10.

(21.) August 4, 1933 to Edwin R. Embree from Eugene Kinckle Jones. Rosenwald Fund Archives, Box 306, Folder 10.

(22.) Parris and Brooks, Blacks in the City, p. 235.

(23.) New York Times, Editorial. October 18, 1933.

(24.) New York Times editorial, May 6, 1936.

(25.) Jacqueline Goggin, Carter G. Woodson: A Life in Black History. Baton Rouge and London: Louisiana State University Press, 1993, p. 175-176.

(26.) Ibid. p. 175. See also, B. Joyce Ross, "Mary McLeod Bethune and the National Youth Administration: A Case Study of Power Relationships in the Black Cabinet of Franklin D. Roosevelt," in Black Leaders of the Twentieth Century, editors John Hope Franklin and August Meier. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1982, p. 191-219. See also Rackham Hold, Mary McLeod Bethune: A Biography. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1964.

(27.) December 16, 1933 to Eugene Kinckle Jones, Adviser on Negro Affairs, Department of Commerce from Jesse O. Thomas, Southern Field Director, National Urban League. Record Group 48, Box 83, File--Colored Work, Interracial Correspondence. CWA General Administration/Inquiries. National Archives, Washington, DC. See also, Elmer P. Martin and Joanne Mitchell Martin, Social Work and the Black Experience. Washington, DC: National Association of Social Workers Press, 1995, p. 31-32.

(28.) Nancy J. Weiss, Farewell to the Party of Lincoln: Black Politics in the Age of FDR. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1983, p. 49-50.

(29.) Clarke A. Chambers, The New Deal at Home and Abroad, 1929-1945. New York: The Free Press, 1965, p. 75.

(30) Susan Ware, Beyond Suffrage: Women in the New Deal. Cambridge, Massachusetts and London: Harvard University Press, 1981, p. 12.

(31.) Ibis. p. 13. For a detailed discussion of Mary McLeod Bethune's role in the government during the New Deal see Ross' "Mary McLeod Bethune and the National Youth Administration ..." and Weiss' Farewell to the Party of Lincoln. For a detailed discussion of Frances Perkins see Susan Ware's, Beyond Suffrage and Holding Their Own: American Women in the 1930s. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1982, particularly chapter four, "Feminism and Social Reform," p. 87-115.

(32.) Sitkoff, A New Deal for Blacks, p. 58-59.

(33.) Ibid. p. 77. See also, Kirby, Blacks in the Roosevelt Era.

(34.) Patricia Sullivan, "Southern Reformers, the New Deal, and the Movement's Foundation," New Directions in Civil Rights Studies, edited by Armstead L. Robinson and Patricia Sullivan. Charlottesville and London: University Press of Virginia, 1991, p. 82-83. See also John A. Salmond, A Southern Rebel: The Life and Times of Aubrey Willis Williams, 1890-1965. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1983.

(35.) Sitkoff, A New Deal for Blacks, p. 78.

(36.) William H. Harris, The Harder We Run, p. 109. See also John B. Kirby, Black Americans in the Roosevelt Era, 1980. Particularly chapter #6: "Blacks in the New Deal: Confronting the Priorities."

(37.) William Pickens, Bursting Bonds: The Autobiography of a New Negro, edited by William L. Andrews, Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1991 and Sheldon Avery, Up From Washington: William Pickens and the Negro Struggle for Equality, 1900-1954. London and Toronto: Associated University Presses, 1989. See also Clark Chambers, Paul U. Kellogg and the Survey: Voices for Social Welfare and Social Justice. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1971.

(38.) Sullivan, "Southern Reformers, the New Deal, and the Movement's Foundation," p. 82.

(39.) Record Group 48, Central Classified Filed, 1907-1936. Minutes of Meeting held February 7, 1934, Inter-Departmental Group. National Archives, Washington, DC.

(40.) Ibid.

(41.) Ibid.

(42.) Jacob Fisher, The Response of Social Work to the Depression. Boston: G. K. Hall & Co., 1980, p. 133. For an overview of the 1930s and Black American during the Depression see, Darlene Clark Hine, The Path to Equality: From the Scottsboro Case to the Breaking of Baseball's Color Barrier, (1931-1947). New York and Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 1995, p. 33-47.

(43.) Fisher, p. 133.

(44.) Grace Abbott. From Relief to Social Security: The Development of the New Public Welfare Services and the Administration. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1941, p. 199-200. See also, Roy Lubove, The Struggle for Social Security, 1900-1935. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1968.

(45.) Weiss, The Nation Urban League, p. 275-276.

(46.) See Weiss, The National Urban League and Sitkoff, A New Deal For Blacks. In addition, Christopher G. Wye, "The New Deal and the Negro Community: Toward a Broader Conceptualization," Journal of American History, Vol 59, 1972, p. 621.

(47.) Department of Commerce, Eugene Kinckle Jones, "Summary of Work," April 1, 1933 to June 30, 1935. General Files, File 88449, Box 683, National Archives, Washington, DC.

(48.) Department of Commerce, "Memorandum" For: Mr. Eugene Kinckle Jones, From: Chester H. McCall, July 12, 1935. General File, File 88449, Box 683, National Archives, Washington, DC.

(49.) Department of Commerce, October 31, 1935 to Mr. William W. Sanders, Executive Secretary of National Association of Teachers, from Secretary of Commerce, Daniel C. Roper, Ibid.

(50.) Department of Commerce, "Summary of Work," Eugene Kinckle Jones, April 1, 1936 to June 30, 1936. General File, File 88449, Box 683, National Archives.

(51.) Department of Commerce, "Memorandum," For Joseph R. Houchins Assistant Business Specialist, Negro Affairs Division, Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce from E. W. Libbey, Chief Clerk. General Files, File 88449, Box 683, National Archives.

(52.) Department of Commerce, August 12, 1937 to Honorable James A. Farley, Chairman, Democratic National Committee from Daniel C. Roper, Secretary of Commerce, General Files, File 88449, Box 683, National Archives.

Felix L. Armfield*
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Author:Armfield, Felix L.
Publication:Afro-Americans in New York Life and History
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2006
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