Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #51  
Old 01-13-2020, 07:55 PM
Kimstu is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 23,208
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
And this:

Quote:
Sears set up systems that gave black patrons the option to go directly to the postal carrier, completely bypassing the country store, which in some cases, was also the post office.
What does that even mean? That blacks couldn't get things delivered by mail because the racist postmaster who owned the country store refused to give them items that they bought through mail to protect the monopoly of his country store, even though he refused to sell to them at the country store?

But, we could trust that the postmaster would give the package directly to the carrier instead?

The article sounds like a big pile of shit.
[sigh] UltraVires, hon, I don't mind helping you out with explanations when you're confused about something, but I think you sometimes forget that it's possible for you to look things up on your own.

If you find something puzzling in Cornell professor Louis Hyman's research that inspired that linked VOA story, you can just google the history of the Sears catalog and find out additional background information like this:
Quote:
Before the initiation of RFD in 1898, storekeepers who were also postmasters refused to sell money orders, write up purchase requests or sell stamps to customers who still owed on store accounts. After 1898 Sears countered by advising catalog shoppers who lived on rural routes to "just give the letter and the money to the mail carrier and he will get the money order at the post office and mail it in the letter for you." [...]

Other southern merchants, along with their midwestern colleagues, resorted to more desperate measures like sponsoring bonfires and handing out prizes to those who turned in the catalogs for burning.
The linked article explained clearly that black farmworkers were often locked into the exploitative credit systems imposed by the local country stores/postoffices that were their only practical options for consumer goods (similar to the familiar "company store" model for isolated mine or factory workers). These merchants/postmasters naturally wanted to extract as much of the sharecroppers' money (at monopolistic prices) as they could, rather than having to deal with competition from mail-order firms. So they refused to sell postal goods or services to their credit customers, in order to prevent them from shopping by mail order.

So Sears' catalogue marketing instituted a system to bypass the postmaster by letting the rural customer effectively "purchase" stamps and money orders directly from rural mail carriers (many of whom were black), and the mail carriers would handle the transactions with the postoffice. I hope that clarifies for you the issues you were confused about.
  #52  
Old 01-13-2020, 10:14 PM
eenerms is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Finally...Wisc...!
Posts: 2,966
When I visited my then boyfriend in 1979, in Mobile, Alabama there was an All White Club. I donít know much about it.
  #53  
Old 01-14-2020, 07:31 AM
doreen is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Woodhaven,Queens, NY
Posts: 6,765
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
The linked article explained clearly that black farmworkers were often locked into the exploitative credit systems imposed by the local country stores/postoffices that were their only practical options for consumer goods (similar to the familiar "company store" model for isolated mine or factory workers). These merchants/postmasters naturally wanted to extract as much of the sharecroppers' money (at monopolistic prices) as they could, rather than having to deal with competition from mail-order firms. So they refused to sell postal goods or services to their credit customers, in order to prevent them from shopping by mail order.

So Sears' catalogue marketing instituted a system to bypass the postmaster by letting the rural customer effectively "purchase" stamps and money orders directly from rural mail carriers (many of whom were black), and the mail carriers would handle the transactions with the postoffice. I hope that clarifies for you the issues you were confused about.
I was having trouble figuring it out too - why would those racist postmasters/store owners not sell their customers money orders , etc but would sell the money orders to the mail carriers ? But the RFD gave me a clue ,and eventually I found the connection- the beginning of RFD coincided with and maybe even prompted the elimination of the sort of post office where the store owner was also the postmaster. So the carriers apparently weren't buying the money orders from the store owner/postmaster - but that wasn't really clear from the articles.
  #54  
Old 01-14-2020, 09:47 AM
Elendil's Heir is offline
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: 221B Baker St.
Posts: 87,488
While on their U.S. tour, the Beatles refused to play in a Southern venue - in Atlanta, maybe? or Mobile? - unless it integrated, according to a recent documentary I saw.

President Lyndon Johnson integrated the faculty lounge of a Texas university by walking in with a black female professor on his arm.

Lee Harvey Oswald was a murderer, a bully, a mooch and an egotist, but he also never obeyed his hometown of New Orleans's segregation laws. He would always make it a point to sit in the back of the bus with the black passengers.
  #55  
Old 01-14-2020, 09:55 AM
Annie-Xmas is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 58,635
Frank Sinatra was a major figure in fighting racial bias. He refused to play in Southern venues if they didn't allow Sammy Davis Jr. to stay in their hotel when he was working there, supposedly asking "He can play here, but he can't stay here?"
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:44 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017