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THE BROAD AX. CHICAGO, FEBRUARY 9. 1918
TATE STREET DRUGGISTS CONTINUE TO REAP A FAT
HARVEST FROM THE COLORED PEOPLE.
BY WM. D. NEIGHBORS.
THE IMMORTAL FREDERICK DOUGLASS.
The colored people all over this country, and throughout the civilized world for that
matter, should fittingly this coming week celebrate the 101st anniversary of his
birth, for he was one of the greatest characters in every way that has been cast
upon the shores of time.
TEE NEGRO'S INHERITANCE OF
By John H. Owens.
In my article of last week I endeav
ored to present to you some phases of
the historical background of the Negro
author. It was also my purpose to make
manifest the variety of his genius and
distribution. This latter fact, however,
is only established by careful discrim
ination. "When I use the term Negro
author or scholar, I mean all that the
words author and scholar imply. It is
not my purpose to show that these men
referred to displayed genius because
they were men of color, but rather in
spite of this fact.
We should lake a decent pride in the
fact that we have contributed liberally
to the literature, art, and science of
the world. We need to accentuate
some phases of this part of our his
tory, hitherto neglected. We have fig
ured in the wonderful romance of the
ages, more or less conspicuously, like a
fountain of boundless energy, but with
tremendous earnestness. In proportion
to the strength and persistency of an
intelligent effort are results to be mea
sured. It is by this standard alone
that the status of Negro scholarship
should be gauged.
Not only has the Negro been a weaver
of fine spun rhetoric, and a writer of
practical words as well, but he has also
served as the romantic theme of many
lasting compositions by authors of
other races. The Negro has been the
source of inspiration for the creation of
many wonderful and beautiful themes
in music, literature and art. This fact
is proof enough in itself that the Negro
is no stranger to the finer degrees of in
tellect and passion, although unreliable
writers endeavor to convey the opposite
impression, very often to the Negro him
self, and those of other races.
Great musicians, great dramatists,
great poets and great story writers have
gone to the Negro race for their inspira
tion. In the field of dramatic writing
the Negro has been used for the theme
time and time again. These great men
of genius have fully realized the great
potential possibilities of the kinetic pas
sions of the "children of the sun."
The opera, "Aida," a delicate story of
love, passion, tender romance and trag
edy, all skillfully interwoven by the
master hand of the great Italian, Verdi,
is strongly illustrative of this fact. In
a work of musical biography a critic
refers to Verdi as "the last and great
est of the old school of Italian opera
composers, and one of the most popular
composers of his time." Yet one so
great as he could find inspiration in the
lowly Negro, an inspiration of romanea
and passion passion as beautiful as a
young rose in summer time, as fierce as
name, as burning as the thirst of the
fever-stricken, as sweet as a song on a
summer's, eve; and yet, when tempered
by hate, as pitiless as a pestilence.
Aida, the heroine of the story and
daughter of Ethiopia's king, loves and
is loved in return by Bhadames, a noble
young Egyptian. The romance and
tragedy of their love forms the main
theme of the opera.
The ballet Scheherazade, snag an
danced in grand opera, sses the Negro
in its theme. The story of the ballet
in brief is as follows: "The shah in
his harem receives his brother, who
comes to relate his matrimonial trou
bles. They set out on an apparent
hunting expedition. Then is seen the
deceptive nature of his many wives, for
the head eunuch is bribed to open the
three doors of the harem. The eunuch
opens first a bronze door, through which
crawl Negroes garbed in copper, then
a silver door through which creep Ne
groes clothed in silver, and finally a
golden door through which comes a
Negro attired entirely in gold, the fa
vorite Negro of Zobeide. Zobeide is
the favorite wife of the shah. Revelry
ensues. Pages dance in with platters
of fruit; maidens whisk about in di
aphanous costumes bearing goblets of
cold. Suddenly tho shah appears. He
waves to his henchmen, whose scimitars
fall among the feeing Negroes. Even
the wondrous Zobeide dies, embracing
the feet of her muster as she expires."
The great Bard of Avon scorned not
to make the Negro the main theme of
several of his works. The tragedy of
Othello, the Moor of Venice, is probably
the best known. He has figured men of
color in minor ways in several of his
other productions. This recognition of
the Negro as a theme worthy of roman
tic writing and poetic inspiration by
the great masters of their craft must
necessarily draw our attention toward
it because of the fact that he is usually
regarded with perverse antipathies by
our so-called "modern authors." They
do not consider the Negro as worthy of
inspiring their inferior genius. They
can only make use of him in a sense of
ridicule. One of the most delicate and
tender tributes to the finer genius of
the Negro which I have ever read is
expressed in the lines written by the
English author, Alfred Noycs, in mem
ory of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, as
"The spark that falls from heaven not
oft on earth
To human heart this vital spendor
His was the simple, true immortal birth.
Scholars compose; but this man's
Through him his race a moment lifted
Forests of hands to beauty as in
Touched through his lips the sacramen
And then sank back benumbed in
our bleak air."
This, of course, is only a part of the
complete poem, which consists of eight
stanzas, each one just as beautiful and
expressive of the wonderful and beau
tiful genius of Taylor as those quoted
Thus we can see that the theme of
the Negro has served as the inspiration
for much that is beautiful and fine in
art, literature and music. Anton Dvo
rak, the great Bohemian music master,
used as the basic foundation for his
last, and what some critics consider his
greatest symphony, simple negro melo
dies. This is his great "Symphony in
E Miner, No. 5, Opus 95, 'Prom the
New World.' ' Concerning the use of
Negro melodies, or rather themes sug
gested by Negro melodies, Dvorak made
some interesting statements in a writ
ten communication, given out previous
The drug store, as does the grocery
and market, depends in a large measure
upon tho local community trade, and
yet, like tho grocery and market, it re
tains a considerable number of its cus
tomers after they have left the neigh
borhood, so that wo have those wht
have formerly traded with a store in a
local community, when they move con
tinuing to trade with the same store, so
that wo find former customers who now
live several miles away still trading
with the old store. This has resulted
in the modern delivery system.
The Colored people as a general thing
are the exception to this rule. They
iu the main trado with the local com
munity .store and are the chief builders
of trade. This is especially true of
newcomers to a community, so that the
importance to the local merchant of se
curing the business in the early stages
of the newcomer's residence is readily
seen. Even the large display advertise
ments of bargain counter sales are not
sufficient to attract any excepting the
more progressive and enlightened mem
bers of the Colored race.
Considerable of the drug business
comes from prescriptions, and tho phy
sician, through his recommendation to
his patients, can throw considerable
trade to a good drug store. In our in
terview with the various Colored drug
gists, we have found that as a general
rule the Colored physician patronizes
and recommends his patients to patron
ize Colored druggists. The exception
to this only serves to prove the rule. In
an interview with Mr. George M. Porter
of 35th and State streets, when asked
"What, in your opinion, is the relative
amount of business done by Colored
druggists with the Colored people in
your community T" said: "We do not
get nearly so much of the trade of our
people as we should. I am of the opin
ion that the Colored druggists get about
25 per cent of tho local business. Wc,
however, do a considerable delivery
business, particularly in the prescrip
tion department." And when asked,
"Do you find the Colored physicians
patronize and advise their patients to
patronize the Colored druggist to have
their prescriptions filled?" said: ".
find that we get all the business that
we have any reason to expect from our
Colored physicians. We have no com
plaint whatever to make against the
Colored physicians." And to illustrate
his point he showed his delivery book
covering deliveries of prescriptions
practically all over the South Side.
Mr. H. Porter, of the Porter Phar
macy, 35th and Dearborn streets, was
cqualy complimentary of the Colored
physician, and expressed complete sat
isfaction both as to patronage from phy
sicians and the Colored people in the
community. He gave as his opinion of
the chief difficulty of the Colored drug
gist is the inability to buy in sufficiently
large quantities to get the best price,
and advocated the desirability of co
to the production of the "New World
Symphony." He said:
"I am satisfied that the future music
of this country must be founded upon
what are called the Negro melodies.
These can be the foundation of a serious
and original school of composition to
be developed in the United States.
When I first came here I was impressed
with this idea, and it has developed into
a settled conviction. These beautiful
and varied themes are the products of
the soiL They are American. They are
the folk songs of America, and your
composers must turn to them. All the
great musicians have borrowed from the
songs of the common people. Beetho
ven's most charming Scherzo is based
upon what might now be considered a
most skillfully handled Negro melody.
I have myself gone to the simple half
forgotten tunes of the Bohemian peas
ants for hints in my most serious work.
Only in this way can a musician express
the true sentiment of a people. He gets
into touch with the common humanity
of the country. In the Negro melodies
of America I discover all that is neces
sary for a great and noble school of
music They are pathetic, tender, pas
sionate, melancholy, solemn, religious,
bold, merry, gay, gracious, or what you
wilL It is the music that suits itself
to any mood or any purpose. There is
nothing in the whole range of compoffl
tion that cannot find a thematic source
operative purchasing on the part of the
Mr. H. B. Saunders, at 48th and State
streets, also strongly advocated a co
operative purchasing plan. When asked
concerning his opinion as to relative
amount of trade being done by Colored
druggists in his community as compared
with that of the White druggist, stated:
"Wo do not get over 25 per cent of our
reasonable legitimate share of the Col
ored business, and I am much of the
opinion that if wc did not through our
purchasing system get goods in such a
way as to enable us to meet the lowest
price of the cut rate druggist, we should
not even get 25 per cent of the business.
The only ultimate salvation of the Col
ored merchant in our line as well as in
other lines I have observed, is co-operative
purchasing through some central
bureau, which shall distribute the re
quired quantities to tho various stores."
Chas. F. Do LcBastide, of 37th and
State streets, when asked his opinion as
to the percentage of Colored patrons
doing business with Colored druggists,
replied: "I should say that 25 to 30
per cent of Colored people in this
neighborhood do business with Colored
druggists. The physicians can greatly
aid the Colored druggist by sending
them their prescriptions. I also suggest
that druggists form themselves into
some kind of association for co-oper
ative purchasing of supplies. The need
to buy at lowest prices is quite evident, j
because wc know that if wc buy right
wc can successfully compete."
It will be of interest to know what
the average attitude toward the Colored
patron is of the average White drug
gist, which is conceded by Colored drug
gists to be receiving about 75 per cent
of the Colored business.
W. E. Wallace, owner of the drug
store at 39th and State streets, as ad-
mitted by his manager, about 80 per
cent of the trade is Colored, shows his
appreciation of this trade by employing
three Colored clerks, a Colored girl
cashier, a Colored manager, Mr. W.
Stoball, and one White clerk. The
Crown Pharmacy, at 31st and State
streets, of which Mr. A. D. MacGregor
is manager and registered pharmacist,
when asked, "What percentage of your
business is done with Colored people!"
replied: "I should say about 90 per
cent of our business is with the Colored
people of this community. It was
greater than that; about a year ago 99
per cent of our trade was with the Col
ored people. We have an average of
about 2,500 people come in here per day.
We employ seven clerks, and the pro
prietor and manager also wait on the
trade." When asked if any of the
clerks were Colored, ho replied: "We
had one Colored clerk, but we did not
find him satisfactory. The Colored peo
ple did not wish to trade with him."
He seemed to be too "lippy," and in
his slang way, said: "They ran him
out of gas, so we had to let him go."
(To be continued)
here." Thus, it can easily be seen tha
the Negro's claim to a permanent place
in the firmament of fine arts as the
source of artistic inspiration is as well
founded as the law of gravity. This
phase of the Negro's romance will en
dure forever, and in a world swarming
with engagements shall shine clearer
than the noondav.
PHTT.TiTS WHEATLEY HOME.
3256 Rhodes Avenue.
Chicago, Feb. 6, 1918.
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
The Phyllis Wheatley Home is non
sectarian, non-political and has not and
does not, endorse men or women of any
political persuasion when candidates
The Board of Directors, Phyllis
Wheatley Home, 3256 Bhodes
It will be appreciated if you will give
publicity to the above notiea.
Board of Directors, P. W. H.,
by J. Snowden-Porter.
COLORED WOMAN IN MEDICAL
Miss Helen L. Milton, of Philadel
phia, Pa., has been appointed to a $100
clerkship in the United States Medical
Supply Department at Washington.
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ALDERMAN JOSEPH HIGGINS SMITH.
One of the best and foremost members of the City Council, warm friend of tit
colored people, who will be returned to that body from the 14th ward.
DR. A. WILBERFORCE WILLIAMS,
3545 S. STATE STREET, LOUDLY
SOUNDS THE PRAISES OF THE
The following letter speaks for itself:
Chicago, Feb. 4, 1918.
Mr. Julius F. Taylor, Editor,
6418 Champlain Ave., Chicago.
Dear Mr. Taylor: I would be less
than human if I did not express to you
my deep sense of appreciation of the
many kind words you have expressed
in your paper concerning the address
delivered by me at Bethel Literary So
ciety Sunday, February 3, 1918. We
had quite a large and appreciative audi
ence out, although it was a very cold
day, and I wish to give due credit to The
Broad Ax for its wide and flattering
publication of the meeting.
There is another matter, Mr. Taylor,
that I wish to congratulate your paper
on, and that is the invaluable sen-ice
along educational lines that you are
doing for the people of this community
in regard to business opportunities now
before the people. I have read and am
reading these articles bearing on the
Colored merchants and business that
have and are appearing in The Broad
Ax each week. T want you to know
that I consider these articles are one
of the most valuable of journalistic ef
forts ever presented to the people of
While I am trying to do my little bit
along hygienic and sanitary lines in the
way of bettering the health conditions,
I am very appreciative of the good work
your paper is doing along industrial,
commercial and economic lines. For all
of these avenues are of paramount im
portance in the development and round
ing out of a strong race of people.
You have mv best wishes for the suc
cessful issue of your work.
A. Wilberforce Williams.
DELEGATION OF PREACHERS
WILL ENDEAVOR TO BRING THE
A. M. E. GENERAL CONFERENCE
TO CHICAGO IN 1920.
The various cities throughout the
country will send delegations to Louis
ville, Ky., to attend a church confer
ence or council with many of the
bishops of that church well to the front,
which will convene in that city from
February 12th to February 16th.
Their object will be to secure the gen
eral conference which convenes in 1920
for their respective cities. Bev. F. G.
Snelson, chairman of the delegation
from this city, will leave for Louisville
Sunday evening. Aside from Bev. Snel
son the following preachers will com
pose the delegation: Rev. W. D. Cook,
Bev. B. E. Wilson, Bev. N. J. Me
Craeken, Bev. James Higgins, Rev. J.
H. Farribee, Bev. B. IT. Taylor, Bev.
H. E. Stewart, Bev. 8. B. Moore, Bev.
John T. Jenifer, Bev. T. L Scott, Bev.
A. J. Carey, and 'Chairman Snelson has
letters from Mayor William Hale
Thompson, the heads of the Colored
Masons, Odd Fellows, Knights of Py
thias and from other prominent citi-
zens, urging the powers that be in that
church to permit the general confereaee
to come to Chicago in 1920.
THE SECOND WABD REPUBLICANS
REPRESENTED BY THE CAP
TAINS, CONSISTING OP THE PBE
CINCTS AND AFFILIATED WITH
THE DENEEN ELEMENT MET AI
THEIR HEADQUARTERS AT 3158
FOREST AV. ON TUESDAY NIGHT,
FEB. 5, 1918, AND ENDORSED THE
CANDIDACY OF ROBERT R. JACK
SON FOR ALDERMAN AM)
PASSED THE FOLLOWING RESO
LUTION". AL. WILLIAMS, FBI
SIDING, A. L. WILLIAMS, CHAE
MAN; ED. PERKINS, SEC'Y.
Be It Resolved, That we, the mes
bcrs of the Deneen Organization ui
affiliated with the Republican Party, do
hereby submit to this Organization tie
desire and purpose of their action u
this Aldermanic primary election.
Resolved, That in pursuance of good
citizenship and honest represeatatioa
by our best citizens be they Black or
White, and whereas the Colored citizeu
representing a majority of the pre
cinets in the Second Ward ate looiisz
forward to the uplift of their condition
is the intent of this resolution and tie
cause of our action.
Be It Further Resolved, That bear
acquainted with both persona in tbi
contest, who are asking the support of
the voters of this, the Second Ward, it
devolves upon us as good eitizens tie
duty of selecting one of these men to
be voted for at this primary election
Therefore, Be It Further Resolved,
that being cognizant of the condition
that existed in our Ward during tie ten
ure of office of one of these men sal
developments of same, and also hearis?
as we did these words coming from et
whom we all adore. "To always select
the best among you of any position o.
trust be it political or otherwise," we
have come to this conclusion, ksowisj
the above facts as we do, and leans
this admonition, do hereby submit to
this honorable body for its considera
tion, the most efficient candidate no
before the people and ask each mem
ber here assembled to support him
the choice of this body and cast their
ballot on the 26th day of February,
1918, for the Hon. R. B, Jackson.
WASHINGTON, D. O, HAS
Washington, D. C A police cens
reported November 1st gives the popa'
lation of Washington as 395,000, i
places the Colored population at 102,000-
Colored females exceed the males ".
Mr. Robert Drake and Mr. '
Drake of Cleveland, Ohio, are stoppW
at the Hotel Brown.
Mr. H. Hopkins, of St. Paul, H
is in the eity for a few days.