Item #8182 Hurrah Hurrah This Is the Last Opportunity That a Colored Man Will Have on Earth to Buy a Lot on Smith Street…

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Hurrah Hurrah This Is the Last Opportunity That a Colored Man Will Have on Earth to Buy a Lot on Smith Street…

[Mullins, S.C.: 1908 or 1914]. Broadside, 12” x 8.75”, printed in black on green paper stock. CONDITION: Good, old folds, minor loss to edges and crossfolds, noticeable soiling and staining.

An unrecorded broadside advertising land for sale specifically to African American residents on Smith Street in the city of Mullins, South Carolina in the early-twentieth century. The broadside was printed at a time of seismic industrial changes in the American South. At the turn of the century even the rural south was experiencing a large migration to urban areas as industries such as textile milling and tobacco mass production became more industrialized with the advent of new technologies. As such, these urban centers attracted cheaper labor for their mills and factories, and drew in more Black agricultural laborers who in turn worked industrial jobs. As more minority workers moved into urban centers, discriminatory real estate practices among the white ruling classes in southern cities began in earnest.

Implicit in the present broadside seems to be the segregationist real estate practice of racially restrictive zoning ordinances, which provided for residential segregation based on race. The broadside implies that only African American men will be able to buy the property on Smith Street. Restrictive zoning ordinances were outlawed by a 1917 Supreme Court decision in the case of Buchanan v. Warley. In the present broadside, the real estate company or bank that sponsored the sale of the lots on Smith Street offered eight lots to the highest bidder “near the colored M.E. Church.” Aiming the sale of land “near the colored M.E. Church” at “colored” men was likely a signal meant to discourage potential white buyers. The urgency with which the land is offered as a “last opportunity” indicates that land anywhere near B.G. Smith’s sawmill would be unavailable in the future to Black buyers. This language may also indicate the practice of blockbusting, another discriminatory real estate practice (and a self-fulfilling prophecy) in which real estate agents would encourage white residents to sell property at below-market prices to encourage them to move away from neighborhoods they were told would soon be overrun by African American residents; these real estate agents would then sell these same properties to African American homebuyers at inflated prices. As such, it may be the latter half of the practice of blockbusting represented in the present broadside, a segregationist real estate practice that proliferated in the twentieth century but has largely disappeared through legislation and changes in real estate law. These practices are similar to and were later replaced with exclusionary covenants, blacklisting, and redlining, in which African-Americans were forbidden to own homes or real estate in particular areas of cities, or were discouraged to do so by unfair lending practices.

The land auction advertised here was presided over by a local attorney, Lanneau D. Lide of Marion, South Carolina, who was tasked that the paperwork from the sales was to be “made all O.K.” During the early portion of his career, after he began practicing law in 1904, Lide served as deputy court clerk for Marion County. The mill referenced here belonged to B.G. Smith, who passed away in 1918. As such, the date of the present broadside must fall between 1904 and 1918. As the broadside states the sale happened on “Saturday, Sept. 26,” the only available dates are 1908 and 1914.

We could locate no other copies of this highly-ephemeral broadside in OCLC or in auction records.

Item #8182

Price: $3,500.00

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