Business &


A perusal of the "colored persons" section in the Baltimore City Directories for any given year of the late-nineteenth century would reveal that blacks in the city were involved in all sorts of industries, occupations and livelihoods. At the lower end -- economically speaking -- of occupations were the hod carriers, laundresses, washer women, hack drivers, carters, and general laborers. A little higher up on this scale were the stevedores, caulkers, seamstresses, and semi-skilled workers. At the top of the black occupational hierarchy, and therefore social ladder, one would find the pastors, barbers, caterers, newspaper editors, bankers, lawyers, physicians, shop owners, grocers, teachers, and civil servants.