Prohibition & City Consolidation
During the 1920's nationally, the country was going through the prohibition period. Wilson discussed nation news and events as well. One political issue to Wilson was prohibition and his fight to stop modifications of the prohibition act. Wilson is quite adamant about his opinion and his desire for the black community to vote against modification of prohibition in the March 12, 1926 "Colored Notes".
March 12, 1926
"We cast a ballot at the Star office Thursday a. m. against any modification of the prohibition act. We don't favor dotting an "I" or crossing a "t". It is doing good. Let the advocates of its modification howl as they will. It is in the constitution. Let it stay there. Never fear for the money it costs. That will come all right. Many of us have children and they must be schooled. Come advocates of the liquor claim that the enforcement of the prohibition will hurt schools. --- All hosh! This scribe has two sweet little motherless girls, and they are dear to his heart, but if they are to be educated at the price of liquor, we would rather see them grow up in ignorance. We would sit up half the night in the home teaching them the best of our limited ability rather than trained at a fearful cost, i.e. legalizing liquor. Parents are running a great risk if they neglect this opportunity of going to the Star office and registering their solemn protest"
An issue that Wilson discussed throughout the 1926 "Colored Notes" as it pertains to not only Blacks in Portsmouth, but to the entire citizenry of the city was multi-city consolidation. The consolidation of Portsmouth, Norfolk, and South Norfolk would create one huge city which would carry the name of Norfolk. This was a widely debated issue for Portsmouth at the time. Wilson was adamantly against consolidation of the cities.
By reading these excerpts from Wilson, consolidation was by his account a "suicidal pact" with the surrounding municipalities that he was not in favor of. Although many members of the community were in favor of consolidation, Wilson used his "Colored Notes" to bring to the attention of all those who read the column that it would not be good for the identity, economy, or political structure of Portsmouth and that such a multi-city merger would only stagnate progress and cause an imbalance of power and resources; not enhance it, as those in favor of consolidation would argue. The following passages will provide the reader a sense of how Wilson felt on the issue.
January 24, 1926
July 8, 1926: