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[TN] Letters, Jun. 17, 1946 to Time re Negro Mistresses

Was surfing the net and came across these Letters printed in Time Magazine on June 17, 1946

Negroes & Mister Crump


I have read your write-up on Ed Crump and Memphis (TiME, May 27) . . . and I resent the insinuation you have made at our white men with Negro mistresses, which is [an] insult to our white citizens.

I came to Memphis from Ohio over 50 years ago and have a wide acquaintance, and I do not know of any white man with a Negro mistress, and if one was known he would be socially ostracized, as this is not condoned either in Memphis or any other part of the South with which I am familiar, though in many northern cities lowdown white women are either living with Negro men or married to them, which seems to be perfectly legitimate and respectable. . . .

J. A. RIECHMAN Memphis


. . . Why . . . did [you picture] the Negro king & queen of the Cotton Carnival? Anyone in Memphis five minutes would know the whole carnival centers around the duly selected [white] king & queen. You have done Memphis and the Cotton Carnival an injustice in such distorted reporting.

You delight, it seems, in trying to hold the South up in ridicule. . . . It's rather a pity that the whole country at this sad hour doesn't have more of the sound and conservative fundamentals of Southerners. And, incidentally, I challenge you to find anywhere a finer or more beautiful city than the southern city of Memphis. . . .



. . . You mentioned that Memphis was enjoying . . . good hospitals, good health! In 1940, the head of John Gaston Hospital in Memphis told me that 50% of the Memphis Negroes (comprising 45% of the population) had syphilis. The medical facilities are hopelessly inadequate, as in all other large cities of the South.

DR. MATTHEW DAVIS Maryville, Tenn.

¶ In 1940 Memphis started a venereal disease control program which Surgeon General Thomas Parran of the U.S. Public Health Service has since praised as having "the soundest base of any large city [program] on record."—ED.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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