Chesnutt's Works

Reviews

Bibliography

Manuscripts

Related Links

Home

Chesnutt in the Classroom

Site Info

Lewis-Addams Urge 'Jim-Crow Y'
At the Cedar "Y" with "Jim-Crow Negroes" in Attendence

At the City club Pickens meeting, last Saturday noon, Judge George H. Addams, in a triangular discussion in which the editor of The Gazette participated, particularly the first and the last named, the judge so clearly indicated his endorsement of the Hopkin's color-line against our interns and nurses at City Hospital and argued so insistently in favor of a "jim-crow Y" that the editor reminded him of the fact that in so doing he was advocating a tenet of the Ku Klux Klan at least so far as our people were concerned. Strange as it may seem to many of our people, who have heretofore thought otherwise, Judge Addams has become a strong advocate of "the segregation of colored people."

In spite of the fact that the Cedar Branch "Y", open to all races or classes, is functioning properly and successfully and has been ever since it was established, some years ago. Robert Lewis, ex. sec. of the Central "Y", and Judge Addams, aided and abetted by several "jim-crow Negroes", held a private meeting, Tuesday evening, at Cedar "Y" for the purpose of promoting a "jim-crow Y" for Cleveland.

There is a story afloat, to the effect, that one of the "jim-crow Negroes" at Cedar "Y" is a young man who came here, some months ago, from Washington, D. C., and who has been subsidized while here "studying" by a Central "Y" official to quietly promote the establishment of a "jim-crow Y".

Naturally, these people are, too, advocates of a segregated or "jim-crow" hospital. So any of our people can readily see what they are trying to do-separate our people from the whites in all public and quasi-public institutions in this community that they can. This is Ku Klux Klan "fodder". That this means turning "the hands of the clock of progress" for Afro-Americans, from 25 to 50 years, means nothing to segregation-advocates like Addams and Lewis, or to the "jim-crow Negroes" associated with them. The latter are only concerned about present or future personal benefits of some kind and do not care how much harm they do their own people. Lord, have mercy!

The editor of The Gazette told Judge Addams plainly, last Saturday noon, in the City club that our people of this community would never support a "jim-crow Y" More than that, they will never permit one to be established in Cleveland, either. This applies equally as strong to a "jim-crow" hospital, schools, etc. The editor also told him that whenever a half dozen or more Afro-Americans of this community will join him (the editor) in donating a couple of hundred dollars a piece to a fund for legal services, that we would take the hospital question into the courts and settle it quickly and settle it right, something we should have done months ago. More: Our people of this community will not forget City Manager Hopkins and Judge Addams' voluntary segregation activity, whenever either of them are looking to the suffrage of all the people of this community for more political honors.

As we were leaving the City club, Saturday noon, Atty. Charles W. Chesnutt, as well as others who had heard all the editor of The Gazette had to say to judge Addams, stepped up to him (the editor) and said: "You were right!" We know this will be the verdict of the great majority of the thoughtful and loyal members of the race in this community. It is positively silly as well as malicious for Judge Addams or anyone else to attempt to foist a "jim-crow Y" upon our people of this community with the Cedar "Y", open to all races and classes, functioning successfully and properly. All they want is to bar white people and segregate our people. Again, Lord, have mercy!

Smith, Harry C. "Lewis-Addams Urge 'Jim-Crow Y'." Cleveland, The Gazette, (Nov. 17, 1928): 1.