The National Negro Business League
Tuskegee, Alabama, July 6, 1901
The Indianapolis Freeman
After full consideration and consultation with officials of the National Negro Business League and friends throughout the country, it has been decided to call the next session of the League to meet at Chicago, Ill., Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, August 21, 22, and 23.
It is generally conceded that the meeting held in Boston last August was one of the most successful gatherings ever held in the history of the race, and that it gave an encouragement and impetus to the race in all lines of business in a way that is now apparent in all parts of the country. It is earnestly hoped that the meeting in Chicago will even surpass the Boston meeting in point of attendance, in interest and in permanent value.
The citizens of Chicago are enthusiastic over the prospects of the meeting and stand ready to give those who attend it a cordial welcome. Aside from the matter of special reduced rates over the various railroads, reduced rates granted in connection with the Buffalo Pan-American exposition will offer unusual opportunities to reach Chicago at small expense.
Any person engaged in any commercial enterprise or properly delegated to represent any individual or individuals engaged in commercial enterprises, is entitled to membership under such regulations as may be adopted. Women as well as men engaged in business should be represented.
It is strongly urged that Local Business Leagues be established in every part of the country where no such leagues now exist and those already organized be strengthened wherever necessary, and that these local leagues send delegates, as far as possible, to the National organization, and keep in close touch during the year with the officers of the National organization, that these local organizations hold meetings monthly as far as practical; that everything possible be done in these local organizations to discourage complicated and useless parliamentary machinery, and that parliamentary and technical discussions be avoided, as far as possible, with a view to concentrating time and strength on the real objects of the organization.
Every one engaged in business owes it to himself to take a week or more of vacation each year for the purpose of rest and recreation and for the purpose of getting new ideas.
It is the desire of the officers of the League to make a large exhibit of photographs at Chicago of the places of our people as well as of the persons engaged in business. These photographs should show both outside and inside views as far as possible, and they should be forwarded to the President of the League at Tuskegee, Ala., as early as convenient.
The proceedings of the Boston Meeting have been published in book form by Mr. J. R. Hamm, 46 Howard Street, Boston, Mass. A copy of this volume should be in the hands of every Negro in the country who is engaged in business, or who is expecting to enter business.
The time has come for the race to take a long step forward in establishing itself permanently and more generally in the business of the community where it resides.
Let no legislation or attempted legislation discourage or dishearten us. There should be no doubting or halting. Every move should be forward one. To gain recognition and success we may have to struggle harder and longer than others, but out of the very struggle we shall gain a strength that we can get in no other way. The influence and power of intelligence, high character and high standing in the business world are sure to place the race in the end in a position where it will be honored and treated with justice in every part of the land. Let our watchword constantly be, "forward".
Booker T. Washington, President
T. Thomas Fortune, Chairman, Executive Committee
No. 4 Cedar Street, New York
E. E. Cooper, Secretary
459 C Street, NW., Washington D.C.