James Lee Dickey: An Analysis of One African-American's Leadership in Jim Crow Texas

Improving the Culture

More progress was still necessary to help his people in Taylor. Learning from the struggles he encountered creating the Dickey Clinic, he empathized with other entrepreneurs. As a result, Dickey helped organize the Negro Chamber of Commerce, an association whose mission was to act as a liaison between the African American and white communities. Since Taylor, like most Southern towns at this time, had no black representation in local and state government, the Negro Chamber of Commerce became the political, social and economic advocate for the black community. Acquiring a mortgage or business loan from the white-owned local banks without someone to vouch for the colored applicant was extremely rare. The NCC assisted in starting black-owned businesses and by encouraging improved business practices. Though none of Taylor’s black owned businesses became a Fortune 500 company, the selection of small endeavors ranged from funeral parlors to beauty parlors. Cafes and diners lined East Oak Street as did barber shops and auto repair garages. Residents speak fondly of one entrepreneur that strategically located his treat cart on Robinson Street each afternoon where Blackshear/OL Price School released a ravenous clientele. The spirit of entrepreneurship flourished in south Taylor.

This page has paths:

This page references: