E. F. Young, Jr.: Meridian Entrepreneur

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In addition to his manufacturing company, E. F. Young, Jr., Meridian, Mississippi’s only Negro manufacturer, owns and operates a beauty and barber shop with which is also conducted an efficient beauty school where barbers and beauticians are trained.  He is referred to by Meridian residents as their leading citizen and they will soon hold a mammoth celebration in his honor to mark the tenth anniversary of his chemical discoveries(The Pittsburgh Courier, 22 June 1940, p. 23)

Mr. Young began experimenting with chemicals in his home kitchen in 1931, and in 1933, applied for a patented trademark.  The success of his hair treatments and facial products for African American women and men led to his establishing the E. F. Young Manufacturing Company.  Advertisements featured a profile image of Mrs. Young.  Products included hair pomade, skin bleach cream, pressing oil, facial soap, shampoo, deodorant, and hair dressing.

Young opened his “$100,000 hotel” November 16, 1946 (The New York Age, 16 November 1946, p. 2).   By then he also had opened a second company in Chicago.  E. F. Young, Jr.’s hotel was one of two listings of accommodations for black travelers in Mississippi under the years of segregation and Jim Crow laws.  In addition to Victor Green’s travel guide, publications were also later completed by Conoco, Afro-American Newspaper Press, Nationwide Motel and Hotel Association-Southern Division, GO Travel Guide by Amoco, and the U. S. Travel Bureau Bureau’s Directory to Negro Hotels and Guest Houses. The first travel guide for black travelers was named The Hackley & Harrison’s Hotel and Apartment Guide for Colored Travelers: Board, Rooms, Garage Accommodations, etc., in 300 Cities in the United States and Canada, and was published in 1930.

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