Organizing Black America: An Encyclopedia of African American Associations

By Nina Mjagkij | Go to book overview

D

Dallas: Civic, Literary, and Mutual Aid Associations

With the second-largest African American population in Texas, Dallas became a regional center for black political and cultural activism. African Americans made up a significant percentage of the population and even under segregation wielded clout. In 1900, African Americans accounted for 21 percent of Dallas's residents. In the 1920s, the black population dropped to 11 percent due to increasing white migration into Dallas. It was not until the 1970s that African Americans again made up more than 20 percent of the city's population. During that decade, black residents accounted for nearly 30 percent of the population, largely due to white suburban flight.

Women provided leadership for some of the earliest African American civic organizations, which often aimed at racial uplift and promoted cultural refinement rather than explicit political activism. In 1911, black women organized the Priscilla Art Club under the slogan “Art and Beauty, Home and Duty.” Leaders of such clubs typically were the wives of political, religious, or business leaders who brought a well-educated, middle-class sensibility to their volunteer work. Sometimes condescending, the membership acted as cultural missionaries to the poor. Nevertheless, they served as a bridge between economic classes and helped build a more unified African American community during the civil rights struggle between the 1930s and the 1970s.

Active church members, such as Barbara M. James, played key roles in bringing the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) to African American neighborhoods. Founded in 1928, Dallas's segregated YWCA chapter provided classes in domestic engineering, English, home nursing, and sex education. The YWCA served as a social hub, one of the few places black girls could hold meetings or social events. The segregated Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), founded in 1930, offered similar programs for the city's black men and boys and, during the Great Depression, provided job registration and employment services.

More explicit political activism was needed, however, by the early and mid-1920s, when a revived Ku Klux Klan took over city and county government. A Dallas branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) formed at the end of World War I but declined in the 1920s from an enrollment of one thousand in 1919. Black political activism revived during the late 1930s, largely due to the efforts of the Dallas Negro Chamber of Commerce.

The Negro Chamber of Commerce was founded in November 1926, after the Dallas chapter of Booker T. Washington's National Negro Business League (NNBL), originally formed in 1904, split from the national organization. Criticizing the NNBL for lack of leadership, one hundred black Dallasites launched the Chamber of Commerce. By the late 1930s, the Chamber evolved into a major force in municipal politics.

A. Maceo Smith, a Texarkana, Texas, native who moved to Dallas in 1933, led this transformation. Between 1933 and 1939, Smith served as executive secretary of the Negro Chamber of Commerce, expanding the groups membership. Smith urged African American voters to pay poll taxes and supported voter registration to increase black influence in local elections.

Under the leadership of Smith, the Negro Chamber of Commerce organized an “Education for Citizenship” week that resulted in the formation of the Progressive Citizens' League (PCL) in 1934. The PCL mobilized the

Dallas: Civic, literary, and Mutual Aid Associations

-207-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Organizing Black America: An Encyclopedia of African American Associations
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • List of Entries ix
  • A 1
  • B 87
  • C 133
  • D 207
  • E 219
  • F 227
  • G 241
  • H 257
  • I 265
  • J 287
  • K 295
  • L 299
  • M 319
  • N 351
  • O 535
  • P 549
  • R 599
  • S 603
  • T 653
  • U 663
  • V 685
  • W 689
  • Y 707
  • Z 715
  • Addendum 717
  • Index 727
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 768

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.