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THE FIRST COLORED Professional, Clerical and Business DIRECTORY OF BALTIMORE CITY 7th Annual Edition, 1919-1920
Volume 499, Page 2   View pdf image (33K)
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By Mr. E. B. Taylor

Mr. Robert W. Coleman, in conceiving and compiling the first Colored
Business Directory, performed a service of incalculable value to all the
people, not only of this city and state, but of the country. As far as I
have been able to ascertain, there was no such systematic collection any-
where in the United States, prior to his inauguration of it in Baltimore,
although since then the idea has been extensively copied throughout the

As a result of not having such a record, when we wished to address
the colored business community, it was essential to go through all sorts of
round about ways to secure their names. In southern communities the
usual method was to plod through several thousand pages of a city direc-
tory, selecting the names preceded by a star. This was often inaccurate
and unsatisfactory, as I know personally scores of colored people whose
names were not as marked, due to the fact that a light skinned person
would answer the queries of the solicitor, or because the house was per-
haps too nice looking for a colored tenant (in the judgment of the same
men) or because it seemed loo busy a place, or too large a corporation
for a person of color Mr. Coleman by collecting these names into a
compact little volume has saved time which cannot be estimated.

His rewards have not of course been commensurate with the good he
has accomplished.

Before closing I want to pay a tribute to the wonderful disposition
of the compiler of this volume If there is any person in the world whose
disposition I envy, it is "Bob" Coleman's.

A young, active man, interested in social, business and political
activities, is suddenly stricken almost blind. A wife, six (6) beautiful
children {and they girls) to care for, a man would almost feel justified
in giving way to despair. Not so Mr. Coleman. He has never stopped
to realize he is not like other men. With renewed vigor, undaunted he
set out, found new avenues of profit, has gotten his girls to the point
where one is about to graduate, has maintained his home, kept up his
cheerful, optimistic disposition and has constantly climed the rounds of
the ladder of success. His life is an inspiration to us all, who when much
more minor troubles assail us, are readv to throw up our hands in sur-
render. He deserves, if any one does, the general support of all.


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THE FIRST COLORED Professional, Clerical and Business DIRECTORY OF BALTIMORE CITY 7th Annual Edition, 1919-1920
Volume 499, Page 2   View pdf image (33K)
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