On January 1, 1913, the Colored Men's Department of the Young Men's Christian Association gathered in Washington, D.C., at the Twelfth Street "Y". The six African American International Secretaries made a practice of coming together on this holiday, finding in the New Year a quiet time to talk among themselves. Dr. Jesse E. Moorland, the Department's senior secretary, was scheduled to give "Remarks," as usual, and the secretaries looked forward to them-particularly this year, which, they knew, held great opportunity for their work. The Twelfth Street Y.M.C.A.-the "Colored Branch"-itself bore witness to the measured sense of hope abroad in African American communities during the second decade of the twentieth century. The $120,000 building had been dedicated before a large assembly on Thanksgiving Day in 1908 by no less personage than President Theodore Roosevelt himself.

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