In The Steps of Esteban: Tucson's African American Heritage

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Special Topics & Publications

The Negro of Tucson, Past and Present
by James Walter Yancy

Images from James Walter Yancy Thesis Photographs
page 4 of 4
[rights information to images]

The Yancy thesis includes a study of the economic conditions of the African American population in Tucson, Arizona. Seven subtopics were considered, including: (1) the African American population as it related to the overall Tucson population; (2) employment; (3) housing; (4) investments and savings; (5) school costs from elementary through junior high; (6) the comparison of the African American population of Tucson with the African American population of nine other cities; and (7) African American business, political and religious organizations. The photos below represent housing and business interests of African Americans in Tucson in the early 1930s.

Home of an affluent African American living in Tucson

Home of an affluent African American living in Tucson
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The photo above is of a home owned by an African American, although it is not one of the most expensive in Tucson it was considered an "ideal residence" (circa 1933).

In contrast, the home of a poor African American in Tucson (circa 1933)

In contrast, the home of a poor African American in Tucson (circa 1933)
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The photo above was a rental residence of an African American family. The windows, screens, floors, and doors were all evaluated as "poor" in the study Yancy conducted of housing conditions among African American residents in Tucson.

Poultryman B.

Poultryman B.
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Represented above is one of the business areas considered in the Yancy thesis, that of poultry farming. The photo above is of an unnamed individual who was a "technically trained poultry grower." A native of Oklahoma, this grower came to Arizona in 1923 with the intention of opening a chicken farm. Realizing "that technical training and skill had to be obtained," he entered the Agricultural Department at the University of Arizona. After an "extensive study of marketing conditions and flock management" he opened his business in 1927 and by 1933 had built up a "high grade of patronage and ... [had] maintained some of his customers for five years."