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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Hampton Negro Conference. Number III. July 1899.
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The usual trades and occupations are followed in the cities, but few businesses of special note are enumerated. The reports are in many instances fragmentary, yet architects, house decorators, and photographers are named. Among business firms are mentioned: one building and loan association, two land companies, one real estate agency, one supply company, one grist mill, three banks, several insurance societies and farmer's clubs and one cotton factory. Among the evidences of progress are noted the increased number of young people's aid societies in connection with church work, more pains in personal appearance, less extravagance in dress, the existence of educational clubs, and the demand for higher education.
As to the real estate holdings by the Negro, many give vague replies, but one hundred and ninety-six make specific answers in regard to the percentage who own their homes, and taking these returns as a basis, the average shows that 33 1/3 per cent nearly are owners of their homes, which is a striking confirmation of the conclusion recently reached by a well known journalist, that the colored people in large cities, have reached an advanced stage in their evolution, and that they are now differentiated into three classes, one which shows marked progress in all lines of advancement.
Another year, by the distribution of comprehensive schedules aiming at certain specific information on lines of inquiry within the scope of investigation, our data will be more complete, and such a showing can be presented as will enable the Negro at least to know the conditions that exist among his class.
Suggestions Regarding Statistics
Some criticisms of this report were made by the conference, chiefly on ground that it was confined to too small a territory, that the sources of information were not given, and that some of the conclusions were drawn from insufficient data. The chairman himself complained of lack of cooperation on the part of the people to whom he had written for statistics, and shared the general wish that the work of the committee might, another year, be along more strictly scientific lines.
The subject was considered a most important one, and it was suggested by Prof. Miller that since it was impossible for individuals to get at the conditions in the country at large, it might be well to make certain requests of the officials of the census office in Washington. They were as follows: (1) that the cen-
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