Job advertisement for teachers to work at the Presbyterian Colored Missions in Louisville, Kentucky. The Reverend John Little.

Job advertisement for teachers to work at the Presbyterian Colored Missions in Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky: 1929. This small 2” x 3” typewritten advertisement was enclosed in the accompanying envelope with a printed return address that reads, “Presbyterian Colored Missions, Incorporated, 314 South Hancock Street, Louisville, KY.” The advertisement reads, “EXTRA ****** WANTED—TEACHERS At the Presbyterian Colored Missions, 314 S. Hancock St. Won’t YOU come and help? Every Sunday at 3:30.” The envelope is franked with a red 2 cent Washington stamp (Scott #579, perf 11 x 10), cancelled with a Louisville machine postmark dated Mar 15, 1929). The advertisement is in nice shape with three horizontal folds. The envelope has been roughly opened along the left edge. Very good. Item #008826

The Presbyterian Colored Missions were established by a white man, the Reverend John Little, in 1898.

While canvassing African-American neighborhoods to determine the feasibility of opening a Sunday School program for blacks, he “was appalled at what he saw: unclean homes, many prostitutes and criminals, and the absence of formal, and even informal, institutions working for positive community change. . . . [So,] Little converted a former gambling and lottery office into a black settlement house” which he operated with the aid of white volunteer workers. I twas “the most comprehensive and best program for black youths” in the area and “in every survey of black settlement houses in the United States . . . continuously rated as one of the best. It offered industrial training and met the need for social services within the African-American community. . . . [Its] story is significant because it clearly shows the kind of training that progressive whites of the early 1900s thought best for the Negro.”

Women were taught how to cook, clean, and sew. Boys took courses in basketry, carpentry, shoe repair, and tailoring. The mission provided toilets, showers, soap and towels free of charge. Local doctors provided free health car including eyeglasses and minor surgery. Little also sponsored baseball and basketball teams for teenagers, and his establishment provided space for community parties and meetings.

In spite of the good work Little did for Louisville’s African-American community, he held blacks in low esteem. Until the mid-1930s, his staff was entirely white, he refused to allow any African-Americans to serve as teachers or volunteers, and he dismissed most leaders of the black community as “ignorant colored ministers.”.

Price: $100.00