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Seventeenth Street Mission, Richmond VA

The Seventeenth Street Mission Paula Skreslet, D.Min. and Alice W. Campbell   In 1911, Murray Grey and other students from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia (later, Union Presbyterian Seminary) started an urban ministry outreach program in Shockoe Bottom, the most impoverished neighborhood of Richmond, Va. The area suffered from unpaved streets, inadequate sewage facilities, and…

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Children Who Labor – film (1912)

Children Who Labor (1912)   Children Who Labor was a collaboration between the Edison Company and the National Child Labor Committee, the nonprofit organization founded in 1904 and chartered by Congress to promote the rights of “children and youth as they relate to work and working.” In this melodrama, the daughter of a well-to-do industrialist is…

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Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis has been known by many names throughout history, among them “consumption,” “the white death,” and “the great white plague.” Tuberculosis remains one of the world’s most deadly diseases.

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Poverty: An Anthropologist’s View – 1961

This means that we must give money in amounts generous enough to be really constructive, to people who have done nothing to earn or deserve it. This brings us back to the barrier of the relative values prevailing in our society. The necessary generosity will be forthcoming only when our society really accepts the premise that people are deserving simply because they are people; that is, because they are fellow human beings.

To be realistic, this acceptance will not develop magically or through appeals to conscience. Power rests in the middle class. And we in the middle class are notoriously anxious and defensive in the presence of people whose way of life is more primitive and violent than our own. We are threatened, and hence our response is rejection, not acceptance.

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Indoor And Outdoor Relief (1890)

A Report of the Committee by F. B. Sanborn, Chairman, at the Seventeenth Annual Session of the National Conference of Charities And Correction, 1890. “Both indoor relief…and family aid, or outdoor relief, as properly practiced, are both indispensable in any comprehensive plan of public charity. Wherever and whenever one of these methods has been wholly given up, accidentally or purposely, evils have followed which only the introduction of the omitted method could wholly remove.”

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Carrots from California (1939)

“How much is stoop labor paid in a day?”

“Almost everything is piece rate here. A Mex, working ten hours, can make $2 at pulling and tying carrots, but he has to go like hell. In the pea fields it’s a penny a pound. A white man is good if he can pick more than two hundred pounds a day. Other wages are about the same.

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Pea-Pickers’ Child (1935)

Written by Lucretia Penny, appearing in Survey Graphic, 1935. “The death notice in the county paper was not more than two inches in depth but it had, nevertheless, its modest headline: PEA-PICKERS CHILD DIES. Already there had been three deaths in the pea-pickers’ camp: a Mexican had been murdered, stabbed; a child had died of burns; a baby had died of what his young mother referred to as “a awful fever in his little stomach.” And now the shallow headlines spoke of Zetilla Kane, the seventh child and only daughter of Joe and Jennie Bell Kane.”

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Disease of Mendicancy (1877)

Leprosy is not more incurable than mendicancy. When the disease has once fastened itself upon a man, — when, through long months or years, he has willingly and gladly lived on the industry of others, and roamed around without a home, — he becomes a hopeless case, and nothing but the strong arm of the law can make him a self-supporting man.

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