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NEW NEGRO OPINION

NEW NEGRO OPINION
Official Organ of the New Negro Alliance
1232 U Street, N.W.   Decatur 2371

Franklin Thorne .... Editor
William H. Hastie .... Associate Editor
Isadore Williams .... Associate Editor
H. Naylor Fitzhugh .... Business Manager
Rudolph Renfro .... Advertising Manager
Dutton Ferguson .... Circulation Manager

EDITORIALS

A STATEMENT

The New Negro Alliance is not in any way connected with any political group, whether it be conservative or radical, Democratic or Republican or Socialist or Communist. It is true that in at least one instance an activity of the Alliance has been followed up by the Intercollegiate League for Industrial Democracy, an adjunct of the Socialist party. This move, however, did not come at the request of the Alliance.

The Alliance is not entering any political fight. We are confining all of our activities to the improvement of the economic status of the Negro. We are not fighting to tear down any existing institutions. We are fighting to participate in those businesses and institutions that are already created.

WHITE MAN TO WHITE MAN

The radio address of the Honorable James J. Hoey, quoted elsewhere in the columns of this paper, is both heartening and significant. When Mr. Hoey states that "the field for vocational opportunity for the Negro who is equipped with a higher education and the opportunities for employment in the various trades and industries are distressingly small and limited," he states the economic fact that must be the starting point of our most serious thinking about the immediate future. When he declares that "the most important problem for those individuals, associations and foundations interested in the future of the Negro is the problem of opportunity," he gives voice to the belief that is basic in the creed of the New Negro Alliance. When he points out that "up to now no adequate appeal has been made urging the employers of America to employ a just and fair proportion of Negroes, both in clerical positions and in the ranks of skilled and unskilled labor," he directs attention to a need for action which the New Negro Alliance is trying to meet within our local community. Mr. Hoey's appeal is primarily to the white man that he recognize the dictates of justice in this situation. The appeal of the Alliance goes further. It directs the attention of the Negro himself to his plight and to his power to use organized opinion and organized purchasing power to impress employers who are not particularly sensitive to the dictates of justice by touching their one sensitive spot—their pocketbooks.

Perhaps the most important thing about Mr. Hoey's address is the audience that it reached. The problem is to sell an idea to America. If that idea is broadcast over the radio, repeated from hundreds of platforms and given publicity through the press, white and black alike will be set to thinking about the present lack of and immediate need for economic opportunity for the Negro. We must not underestimate the value of an utterance like that of Mr. Hoey and the debt that we owe to him and to Senator Copeland, to whose initiative we owe the printing of a significant document in the Congressional Record.
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The death of William H. Lewis is a cause of the most genuine sorrow to the N.N.A. To his son Harold M. Lewis, a valued Deputy Administrator of the Alliance, and to the entire Lewis family our sincere sympathy goes forth. The colored citizens of Washington, and particularly those of the Anacostia section where Mr. Lewis lived, have lost a citizen whose enthusiasm and tireless activity in community enterprise will be sincerely missed. But the inspiration of his life remains to us all.
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THE PROGRAM OF THE NEW NEGRO ALLIANCE

To improve the economic and civic status of the Negro through:

1. The securing of positions which will increase the earning capacity of our group.

2. The securing of opportunities for advancement and promotion in positions secured.

3. The uniting of the purchasing power of the Colored people to be used as a lever in securing economic advantages.

4. The creation of bigger and better Negro business through increased earning power of Negroes, through a better business outlook resulting from contact and experience with successful businesses of the other group, and through the stimulation of businesses now run by Negroes to higher levels of efficiency and service.

5. The concentrated support of all businesses which employ Negroes or in which Negro capital is invested.

6 Research and investigation which will discover and thoroughly analyze the possibilities for Negro Business and Negro labor in new fields.

A RESCUE FROM DARK ALLEYS

Through its able staff correspondent, Felix Bruner, The Washington Post is making an intense, though belated, effort to clear out from the Nation's Capital its present unsightly inhabited alleys.

Up to this time Mr. Bruner has transcribed the results of his slum survey with such clarity and fairness that every thinking citizen of Washington feels it to be his broad social duty to aid in the elimination of these breeding places of crime and disease. It has been only within recent years that more fortunate citizens have realized their obligation to the alley dweller. These citizens have regarded slum inhabitants as a segment of the civic order which has been described as "a semi-detached appendage." At last it is clearly seen that the plight of the inhabitants of the city's many alleys is closely tied up with the more fortunate citizens desire to reduce the crime rate of the community and to safeguard its very health.

CONDITIONS MISREPRESENTED

What may be regarded as an attitude worse than the aloofness of certain citizens toward the slum dweller, is that created by local-color seekers and patrons of certain forms of vice know to exist in these inhabited alleys. A closely knit civic pride has just about put the snobs on the run. Among the local-color seekers, there is a stupid idea of forcing out of these squalid alleys unreal pictures of glamor, adventure, "picturesqueness" and contentment on the part of the inhabitants. In this connection it might be said that but for the recent efforts of the Washington Post, newspapers have either left the alley situation in this city alone or have played up the fact that such and such a criminal is an inhabitant of "Deekins Court," or "Gold Dust Alley."

LOW WAGES—LOW LEVELS OF LIVING

It takes no highly organized body of fact-finders to discover that alley dwellers are the victims of economic exploitation. Their own fear and ignorance, taken advantage of by the racketing element of the public, have choked out what spark of initiative these poverty-stricken members of the public possess.

Low wages at scarcely living levels have forced these folk to subscribe to a living standard which can hardly be called human. Most certainly these standards of living make for no improvement of that part of society which needs the most in opportunities to live and move toward higher ideals of citizenship and worthy accomplishment. These people are actually closed off into blind alleys. The live where they do because their wages force them to the slums. And in the worst of these hovels the rents are out of proportion to their use as homes in which American citizens must live, rear their children, and contribute to the higher ideals of the American social order.

Felix Bruner is making for a "new deal" and a clear view of the close tie between the alley dweller and the more fortunate citizen. He has emphasized the spread of crime and disease by the continued use of these alleys as places of habitation. Far beyond this and long before Mr. Bruner's writings appeared in the Washington Post, the thinking citizen looked upon inhabited alleys as a rank insult to the civic pride of the community.
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As Ladies Prefer --
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Three guesses! The latest R.K.O. featuring Katherine Hepburn? Warners with Kay Francis? Fox with Lillian Harvey? All wrong! Our title tells the story of the producer, the advertiser, the merchant, and the consumer. They know the value—in terms of dollars—of operating as ladies prefer. Ladies have demonstrated for some centuries. And are proving today—more than ever—that their likes and dislikes are at the core of the business world. But, whereas in previous times, the good will of women was desired largely because of their indirect influence, today business men know that their patronage must be secured. No longer does the matter of indirect influence play the greater part. Now that women, whether by inheritance or their actual earning capacity, have money of their own to spend, they have become a vital factor in the economic world. For every possible kind of product there is sought the endorsement of leading women in all walks of life and of women's clubs and women's magazines.

What applies to colored women, and what is true of the nation is true of the community. They came into their own at a time when the battle was half won; and having been swept on to the front lines, are determined to stay there. They can maintain their position, however, only by a realization of what has put them in it–their collective purchasing power—and by an intelligent use of that power. By concentration and conservation, women can greatly influence, if not wholly decide, the fate of many a local concern. And when merchants fully appreciate the seriousness of local women in this project of control through concentration, they will comply with their demands. Facing fact, these merchants realize that, were the situation reversed, they would not suffer the indignities imposed upon us—not with this powerful weapon of control in their hands. Indeed, in the words of a certain woman of prominence, "not for fifteen minutes without doing something about it." Women of the Alliance have found out what that something is. All Negro women will discover it in time and continue to use it indefinitely.

JOIN THE NEW NEGRO ALLIANCE

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