She opened an employment agency to help women and minorities called the Smith Employment Agency. Carrie placed domestic help with families in need and wrote the “Smith Employment Agency Standards and Principles”—a contract that stated potential employers would not degrade black women in their work environments and that her women workers would not clean floors or windows because she had men who could do that. She also refused to do business with people who called her “Carrie” and not “Mrs. Smith”.
Her husband left her after the success of her business and his failings. Her youngest son, Melvin, wrote that when he was four he remembered his father beating his mother and she in turn threatened to hit him with an oil lamp. She did very well on her own after he left, raising her children and continuing to work.
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