Albon Holsey organizes the Colored Merchants Association in New York to help support jobs for Black people.
Albon Holsey of the National Negro Business League organized the Colored Merchants Association in New York. The group planned to establish stores and buy their merchandise cooperatively. Blacks were urged to make their purchases from these merchants as a means for providing jobs for Blacks, but the Depression forced the stores out of business within two years. By 1931, the "Jobs-for-Negroes" movement began in earnest in St. Louis, Missouri. The St. Louis chapter of the National Urban League (NUL) launched a boycott against a white chain store whose trade was almost exclusively Black but employed very few Blacks. This movement spread to Chicago, Cleveland, New York City, Pittsburgh, and others. New York became the center of an intensive, sometimes bitter, campaign. The Citizens League for Fair Play launched a drive in 1933 to persuade white merchants to employ Black sales clerks. They adopted as their motto: "Don't Buy Where You Can't Work." The campaign led to the employment of hundreds of Blacks in Harlem stores and with public utility companies.