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Manufacturing Hair Preparations

August 21, 1913 — 14h Annual Convention of the National Negro Business League, Academy of Music, Philadelphia PA


Mr. President and members of the National Negro Business League, at Chicago last year, I said that my income per month was $1,500, and promised to double that amount by the time of this meeting.

You can readily see that I have been able to make good my promise to you last year. . . .

Now I realize that in the so-called higher walks of life, many were prone to look down upon “hair dressers,” as they called us. They didn’t have a very high opinion of our calling, so I had to go down and dignify this work, so much so that many of the best women of our race are now engaged in this line of business, and many of them are now in my employ.

. . . honestly of purpose, determined effort, the real merit of my preparations and the fact that I am not and never have been “close-fisted” [were the secrets to my success.]

I have made it possible for many colored women to abandon the washtub for a more pleasant and profitable occupation.



Source: Records of the National Negro Business League, Part I, Annual Conference Proceedings and Organizational Records, National Negro Business League 1900-1919, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.