The right to work for a living in the common occupations of the community is the essence of the personal freedom and opportunity that it was the purpose of the 14th Amendment to secure... U.S. SUPRFME COURT.
A nigger's got just two chances in the South: slim, and none at all.--FOLKSAY
Ever since the Negro's importation as a slave there has been a nice division of labor along racial lines. To some extent the Negro's lot in this respect was worsened by Emancipation; the slaveowner had protected his investment by hiring poor whites to do the most dangerous work, but such jobs were promptly forced upon the Negroes as soon as they were freed.
The first separate occupational census of Negro workers, taken in 1890, revealed that they were then confined almost entirely to agricultural pursuits, domestic and personal services. Of the three million Negro wage earners, nearly 60 per cent were in agriculture and 30 per cent were in service jobs. At that time over 90 per cent of the Nation's Negroes lived in the South. The majority of some 200,000 Negroes then in manufacturing and mechanical jobs were unskilled and for the most part worked as railroad hands, laborers in lumber and planing mills, iron and steel plants, and tobacco factories. Skilled Negro workers were chiefly artisans-- carpenters, bricklayers, plasterers, and blacksmiths.
The decade from 1900 to 1910 marked the beginning of the Negro's industrial advance, with the increase of Negroes in manufacturing and mechanical jobs reaching 100 per cent. Whereas only one tenth of all Negro workers were in non-agricultural and