A small Black professional class—doctors, dentists, lawyers, photographers, and pharmacists—usually in larger cities, served Black customers. Preachers and teachers commanded respect in Black communities, but their employment was often subject to the good will of Whites. Jim Crow laws and segregation forced many out of spaces that White professionals were welcome, but their independence allowed them to be more politically outspoken.
A group of nine Black men sit together and look directly at the camera. One man stands in the center. All are in dark or tan suits. To the right of the man standing is civil rights activist Dr. T. R. M. Howard.Credit:
MDAH, Richard Beadle Collection