Next to the number of farms owned and operated, the operation of business enterprises is a clear sign of economic progress and prosperity.1 In 1860 Negroes were estimated to have owned 2,100 business enterprises. In 1910 it was estimated that they operated 45,000 business enterprises and in 1920 more than 55,000 enterprises. A comparative enumeration in New York City showed that in 1908-09 there were less than 400 Negro business enterprises in the borough of Manhattan, ten of them being corporations. In 1921, there were probably more than 700 Negro enterprises in this borough, including more than 59 corporations.2

Many of these Negro enterprises are, of course, small one-man enterprises, but a few of them are corporations owning and controlling millions of dollars' worth of property. Life insurance companies, mainly industrial, and savings banks have been the outstanding, large business developments. It is estimated that the business of Negro insurance companies exceeds $60,000,000 with annual income of more than $6,000,000 and with disbursements of a like amount. The largest of the life insurance companies in 1920 reported more than $35,000,000 worth of insurance in force, and daily receipts exceeding $4,000 in 1919. This is the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, which was founded by John Merrick, a barber, Dr. A. M. Moore, a physician, and Charles C. Spaulding, who was the first business manager. The company began about twenty-five years ago on the industrial plan and paid its first death claim of $40 by making up the amount from the resources of its three officers. Its office at that time consisted of desk space at two dollars a month in a corner of the doctor's office.1

1 Negro Year-book, edited by Monroe N. Work, p. 1.

2 Data furnished partly by Trotter's Negro Blue Book Directory of New York and partly from investigations of the author.

The second largest insurance company is the Standard Life Insurance Company. It is less than ten years old and has to-day outstanding policies of about $20,000,000 of insurance. Its development reads like a romance and represents the work largely of one man. Herman E. Perry. He first canvassed to raise $100,000 which wa9 necessary in order to deposit required bonds with the Insurance Commissioner of Georgia. Perry failed to secure this amount in his first attempt, covering a period of about two years, and returned to the subscribers to the stock of the proposed company all the money which had been paid on deposit, less ten per cent for expenses, agreed upon in the original plans. Perry started immediately upon his second effort which took him two years more, and this time he secured the necessary $100,000. He began an old line legal reserve business in 1913. The company is now doing business in thirteen states and the District of Columbia.

Besides saving and investing in insurance companies, Negroes are actively interested in banks, in building and loan associations, grocery stores, clothing stores, drug stores, shoe stores, bakeries, steam-laundries, hotels, barber shops, tailor shops, pleasure parks, moving picture theaters, and many other lines of small business. There were 250 or more Negro newspapers and periodicals. A dozen of these have a wide national circulation from 10,000 to more than 75,000.

In 1920 there were listed 76 Negro banks with a reported capitalization exceeding $2,750,000 and doing an annual business of about $35,000,000. This is a very small sum compared with even one of the nation's great banks and gives no account of money deposited by Negroes in banks organized by white men; but these small Negro institutions represent the strivings of the race. They are distributed from Philadelphia, Pa., to Jacksonville, Fla., and Memphis, Tenn. In Virginia there are fourteen Negro banks, in Georgia there are nine, and in North Carolina there are nine. None of them are national banks or large metropolitan banking institutions. They are small undertakings. But they represent the accumulated savings and thrift of thousands of Negro depositors and stockholders who have not only gathered their small savings together, but who have to this extent expressed their confidence in the financial leadership and management of men of their own race. Progress in health. The progress of the Negro in health can barely be indicated from available figures of mortality or statistics of the defective classes. The registration area for mortality before 1900 embraced 10 states and 153 cities, practically all of which were outside of the territory where the bulk of the Negroes reside. "During the entire period 1900-1915," says the census report, "the great mass of the Negro population has been resident in the non-registration area. The proportion living in the registration area was 13.5 per cent in 1900, 19.7 per cent in 1910 and 304 per cent in 1915." The proportion of deaths of Negroes was about stationary during the first two of these five-year periods and showed slight increase during the last period. An estimate based on such incomplete mortality statistics for the Negro population as are available indicates that the aggregate decrease of numbers by death in the Negro population between 1900 and 1910 was about 16 per cent. For the native white population in the same period the figure was 9.9 per cent. The annual average deaths per 1,000 population for the five-year periods, 1901-1905, 1906-1910 in 81 cities having at least ten per cent Negro population show a decreasing death-rate for both races, with a slightly larger decrease for the white population.

1Andrews, Robert McCants, John Merrick, a Biographical Sketch, pp. 75-120.

One of the most definite signs of progress in Negro health and sanitation is the growing number of hospitals, trained nurses, physicians, and surgeons within the race itself. In many of the city hospitals there is now provision for the care of Negro patients. In 25 states and the District of Columbia in 1920, there were reported 119 hospitals, nurses' training-schools, and sanitaria especially for Negroes, many of them conducted by Negroes. All except about ten of these are very poorly equipped and very inadequate in size to meet the needs of the communities they serve. They represent, however, a substantial advance. In 1910, there were 478 dentists, 26 of them women, 3,409 physicians and surgeons, 524 of them women, and 2,433 trained nurses. There is a National Negro Medical Association, having its own well-edited journal, and there are about 53 district, state, and local medical, dental, and pharmaceutical associations of Negroes. There is a National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses which meets annually and a struggling "Blue Circle" working along the lines similar to the Red Cross. Many of the professional men and women have received their training in missionary colleges and in the best institutions for professional study in the land and are highly appreciated by white fellow-members of their professions.