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Richmond VA 1905 Main Stree and Eleventh 

Screenshot_2015-07-31-01-32-45-1From the Richmond Planet, April 4, 1904.

The True Reformers’ Hall was packed last Tuesday night with colored people who even lined the aisles and stair ways to attend the mass-meeting of citizens held for the purpose of making a dignified and conservative protest against the action of the Virginia Passenger and Power Company in making racial discrimination upon its lines in Richmond, Manchester and Petersburg.


A sensation was caused when Chairman Mitchell announced that the Presidents and Cashiers of the four colored Banks, and representing an aggregate capital of $180,000 had met Friday, April 15th, 1904 and pledged their personal and financial support to any movement having for its purpose the transit of the colored people who must ride from one section of the city to the other. The following are the resolutions:

We, the undersigned, officials of the four regularly incorporated Negro Banks of the city of Richmond, viz: The Savings Bank, Grand Fountain, U. O. of T. R., Nickel Savings Bank, Mechanics’ Savings Bank, and the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank, having viewed with alarm the promulgation of the legalized order, clothing the conductors on our street railways system with the power to arbitrarily separate the passengers according to their race and color which power is liable to create ill feeling between the races and precipitate trouble between the citizens, otherwise peaceable and orderly, we desire to emphasize the fact that we stand for law and order and advise our people who ride on the cars of said corporation to obey such rules and regulations as may have been announced.

We realize, however, that to ride on these cars is liable to produce friction and some thoughtless member of the race may in a moment of aggravation commit some overt act that may cause trouble and to place us in the light of attempting to over ride the laws of the commonwealth.

For this reason alone, if no other, we see a source of trouble in street car travel and we note that some of our citizens seem to believe it necessary that some mode of locomotion should be provided in order to minimize friction and avoid trouble. We therefore, pledge our personal and official influence to the support of any movement looking to the transit of any and all persons who may ride and have no other means of reaching their respective destinations; provided that any such movement shall have for its sole purpose a desire to promote harmony between the races and peace and goodwill among the white and colored citizens of this community in which we live.

Provided further that no such movement shall have for its purpose the injury for the Virginia Passenger and Power Co., or the interference with the traffic on any of its lines.


W.L.Taylor, President Savings Bank, G.F., U.O. of T.R. R.T. Hill, Cashier R.F. Tancil, President, Nickel Savings Bank E.A. Washington, Cashier John Mitchell, Jr., President, Mechanics Savings bank Thomas H. Wyatt, Cashier Maggie L. Walker, President, St. Luke Penny Savings Bank Emmet O. Burke, Cashier. . . . A LADY’S VOICE

Mrs. Patsie K. Anderson’s advice given in terse, explicit language was to do no talking but walk, walk, walk. She carried the house by storm and sat down amidst great applause. . . .


The meeting was one of the most orderly and conservative ever held in this city. A recess of five minutes was taken and later the committee on resolutions made the following report:

“Whereas, the legislature of Virginia has enacted a law permitting the street railway companies to separate the passengers on the basis of their color, the enforcement of which enactment is not compulsory, but is left to the action of the company, and,

“Whereas, we deem the enactment of such a law as a hardship upon our race and calculated to do irreparable harm by making it possible to provoke unnecessary clashes between the races, and,

“Whereas, we deem the enactment of such a law as unncessary and unwarranted in view of the relation which exists between the races races, and,

“Resolved, That we, the citizens of Richmond, in mass-meeting assembled, enter our solemn protest against the enforcement of this law by any and all public service corporations, recognizing as we do that the enforcement of the law in questions is left to the option of such companies.”

Signed:–R.E. Jones, Chairman, H.L. Harris, Secretary, H.F. Jonathan, J.R. Pollard, E.A. Washington, Thomas H. Wyatt, Committee.

From Richmond Planet, April 30, 1904.



Colored Folks Walking–White Folks Kicking–Amusing Happenings. Rule Very Unpopular The “Jim Crow” street car regulation is in effect in this city and has been since April 20th, 1904. White passengers are ushered up to the front of the car and the colored passengers are seated in the rear. As a result, between eighty and ninety per cent of the colored people who have used the street-car’s are now walking as the street-car company is trying to avoid the moving of the white passengers from time to time on account of the entrance of the colored ones, the rear part of the street-cars is reserved for colored passengers whether they ride or not. As a result it is a common thing to see street-cars with the front part filled and the rear part empty. TWO IN THE REAR SEATS Now and then one or two colored persons may be seen in the “Jim Crow” department. The Clay street line has shown a heavy falling off in travel. Hitherto it has been rammed, jammed and packed in the mornings with colored people going to work. Now at any hour seats can be obtained.


Haki Kweli Shakur August Third Collective NAPLA-NAIM