Document 25B: Jane Olcott, "An Industrial Secretary for Baltimore," in The Work of Colored Women (New York: Colored Work Committee War Work Council, 1919), p. 100.

An Industrial Secretary for Baltimore

       Miss Jackson[A] found in Baltimore, on her visit there in the spring of 1919, that approximately one thousand colored girls were employed in the factories, laundries and stores. The city has a colored population of about one hundred thousand. There is an independent Y.W.C.A. which has carried on a separate work for some twenty years. They have a thirteen-room building for headquarters, including a dormitory accomodating [sic] approximately fifteen, and conduct an employment bureau. Miss Charlotte Davage is president. Miss Jackson found to that date there had been no special effort made to reach the industrial girls.

       On May 21st, Miss Emma Sawyer was sent as industrial worker under the War Work Council. She has secured good cooperation from the local white Y.W.C.A. and from the independent colored Y.W.C.A., the latter organization having given the use of their building as headquarters. She has already established noon-day meetings at three factories. Community singing is being planned in cooperation with the W.C.C.S.

       A survey which Miss Sawyer is making indicates that "the field is ripe for bigger work than we have the facilities to carry on."


A. This was Mary E. Jackson, Industrial Secretary on the national staff of the Y.W.C.A.'s Colored Work Committee.
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