This chapter focuses on some of the occupations of the Negroes in Illinois after the Civil War. Even after the Civil War, colored persons were mostly confined to the field of domestic and personal service—as butler, coachman, maid, cook, housekeeper, valet, or janitor. Others who were gainfully employed were found in the occupations in agricultural work and at unskilled labor. The tasks at which Negroes were employed were a reflection of the limited opportunities afforded members of the race earlier in the South and of the fierce competition they met in the North when they attempted to find employment in fields other than those to which they were traditionally attached. This chapter examines the Negro's role in Illinois employment and the racial prejudice the race encountered in seeking to carve a place in the labor market.
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