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Ray Hughes, confidential aide to black congressmen: 1948 | by Washington Area Spark
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Ray Hughes, confidential aide to black congressmen: 1948

Christine Ray Hughes served as the confidential secretary to U.S. Rep Arthur M. Mitchell (D-Il.) and Rep. William L. Dawson (D-Il.) and is shown in a photo circa 1948.


In 1942, while working for Mitchell, Hughes took a seat in a new House restaurant open to the public and was served without incident.


However, Rep. John Rankin (D-Miss.) led a delegation to the office of Speaker Sam Rayburn (D-Tex.) to protest an African American’s presence in the restaurant.


Thereafter Hughes did not return to the restaurant.


Mitchell was criticized after defeating Rep. Oscar DePriest (R-Il) in 1934 for not following through on DePriest’s effort to bar Jim Crow in the U.S. Capitol restaurants.


At that time Mitchell told the Afro American his predecessor tried to make an issue out of it,


“…and when the smoke had cleared away, conditions were worse. Several colored persons lost their jobs as a result of the fight, and the colored public is still barred.”


For a detailed blog post on the effort to end Jim Crow in the U.S. Capitol public restaurants, see


For related images, see


The photographer is unknown. The image appeared in the Nov. 6, 1948 Afro American

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Taken circa 1948