African American

Black Business in the Gilded Age: Poro Beauty College

Beauty culture was big business at the turn of the century, and just as the beauty industry liberated women like Helena Rubenstein, Harriet Hubbard Ayer, and Elizabeth Arden, among others, it also liberated black women. Madame C.J. Walker’s fame as the first black millionairess has overshadowed America’s other successful black beauty businesswoman, Annie Turnbo Malone. …

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African American

The Mid-Winter Assembly, Baltimore, 1912

In 1908, William H. Bishop, Jr. invariably identified as “belonging to one of the oldest families in Maryland,” who was clerk in the Internal Revenue Service for thirty-five years, succeeded in pulling together the various rival factions in Baltimore’s black elite into a single organization, known as The Baltimore Assembly. Bishop served as its president …

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African American

The Emancipation Proclamation Exposition of 1913

In 1913, African-American New Yorkers celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation with a ten day exposition. Led by W.E.B. DuBois and members of the New York State Commission, the exposition served the purpose of uplifting African-Americans and refuting the violence, poverty, and stereotypes promulgated by the mainstream. The exposition mirrored those held in …

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