1940s

Colored cafe.

Screen Shot 2018-09-17 at 11.24.25 PM.png

Wilson Daily Times, 31 May 1948.

Wrote Roy Taylor in My City, My Home: “And Negroes congregated en masse on Barnes Street in the block in which P.L. Woodard is located. It wasn’t that they had to gather there, for they had the privilege of meeting at any place in town, just as did the whites. They liked that area, and too, it was in close proximity to several hot dog joints and other eating places. Few white people were seen in that block on Saturday, and few Negroes were seen on Nash Street. It was a matter of the two races choosing to be with their own kind.”

Taylor’s take on the privileges and choices of legally sanctioned and enforced segregation is ridiculous, but this passage does offer context for the location of Gus Gliarmis’ cafe on the southern edge of downtown, far from Wilson’s African-American neighborhoods in the 1940s.

 

Wedding scenes.

Capture.JPG

Pittsburgh Courier, 3 January 1942.

Robert E. Vick, son of Samuel H. and Annie Washington Vick, was a groomsman in the Atlanta wedding of Alice Clarissa Clement, whose father was president of Atlanta University, and Robert Joseph Foster of Monroe, Louisiana. Vick is seated bottom right in the right-hand photograph.

Many thanks to S.M. Stevens for the referral.

Aldridge’s beauty shoppe.

Screen Shot 2018-09-02 at 5.31.13 PM.png

Wilson Daily Times, 4 November 1946.

The 1947-48 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory lists Annie’s Beauty Shop at 1114 1/2 Carolina Street. 1114 1/2 apparently was the address assigned to the small addition built to the grocery store at 1114 Carolina, at the corner of Carroll. Annie Edmundson Aldridge and her husband Prince A. Aldridge lived at 303 North Reid.

DeShazor’s Beauty College was a popular black-owned training school in Durham. See this video.

Photograph courtesy of Google Maps.

Numbers racket.

Wilson Daily Times, 6 March 1947.

  • Prince Aldridge — Prince Albert Aldridge. In the 1947-48 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Aldridge Prince (c; Annie) lab h 303 N Reid
  • Charlie Phillip — Probably, in the 1947-48 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Phillips Chas (c; Mable) h 503 Smith
  • James Nicholson — In the 1947-48 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Nicholson Jas (c) driver Safety Ca Co h 103 N Vick

Negro ministers recruit colored workers.

To address the acute labor shortage created by World War II, the Wilson Colored Ministerial Association came to the aid of tobacco factories and volunteered to recruit workers. “Three meetings of the colored ministers have already been held at the Darden funeral home, and colored church workers are making a house to house canvass for workers as a result of this meeting.”

Screen Shot 2018-08-22 at 8.57.19 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-08-22 at 8.58.16 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-08-22 at 8.58.36 PM.png

Wilson Daily Times, 22 August 1944.

Back to school!

More Raines and Cox photographs of Saint Alphonsus School, these taken in 1949.

Book Week.

Your Best Friends Read Good Books.

This photo, perhaps also shot by Raines and Cox, appears to date from the 1950s.

IMG_1112.jpg

Saint Alphonsus School Drum & Bugle Corps.

[On a personal note: One day when I was 4, I followed another child out the front of Kiddie Kollege of Knowledge (formerly St. Alphonsus School) with my arms spread wide. In the inexplicable way that crazy things happen to little kids, my pinky got caught and crushed between the heavy double doors seen in the third image above. My aunt, Hattie H. Ellis, came up Carroll Street from Darden High School — she was a guidance counselor — to take me to the doctor, and I proudly showed off my little cast when I returned to school the next day.]

Top photos: many thanks to John Teel for sharing these images from the Raines & Cox collection of photographs at the North Carolina State Archives. They are catalogued as PhC_196_CW_StAlphonsusClassroom3 and
PhC_196_CW_StAlphonsusClassroom2. Bottom: courtesy of Wilson Community Improvement Association.

Fish market at night.

On the evening of 2 July 1945, Charles Raines and/or Guy Cox aimed a camera at Hill’s Fish Market, deep in East Wilson’s commercial block. Hill’s and its next-door neighbor, Mercer’s Grocery, were white-owned, but catered to African-American shoppers.

Screen Shot 2018-08-10 at 10.00.41 PM.png

Hill’s and Mercer’s were at 448 and 450 East Nash Street, across from Jackson Chapel First Missionary Baptist Church. (The traffic light faced what was then the south end of Pender Street, which stopped at East Nash. On the other side of Nash, at a dog-leg, was then Stantonsburg Street.) Both buildings are long gone. Dr. Julian B. Rosemond built a dentist’s office at 548 in the late 1960s; it now houses a hair salon. 550 is a vacant lot.

Screen Shot 2018-08-10 at 10.00.58 PM.png

Interior of Hill’s Fish Market, owned by J. Meade Hill.

Many thanks to John Teel for sharing these images from the Raines & Cox collection of photographs at the North Carolina State Archives. They are catalogued as PhC_196_CW_94-15_HillsFishMarket1 and PhC_196_CW_94-15_HillsFishMarket2