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Fighting Jim Crow at Capital Transit: 1942 | by Washington Area Spark
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Fighting Jim Crow at Capital Transit: 1942

Members of the Committee on Jobs for Negroes in Public Utilities shown Dec. 5, 1942 in the office of the Washington Afro American newspaper at 1800 11th Street NW.


They were carrying out the fight to force Capital Transit to employ African American streetcar and bus operators


From left to right, Jerome B. Johnson, Selma F. Kaslick of United Office and Professional Workers, CIO, William S. Johnson, chairman of the committee & Hotel & Restaurant Employees Local 209, AFL, Ralph Matthews of the Afro-American newspaper, Dorothy W. Strange of the Washington council of the National Negro Congress and Martha W. Dudley, Washington League of Women Shoppers.


Young African American labor leaders and their unions provided the backbone of the fight against Capital Transit until the “Red Scare” of the late 1940s and early 1950s decapitated the leadership of those unions and destroyed many of them.


For an article on the drive to desegregate Capital Transit, see


See set, “Fighting Capital Transit Racism 1941-55” for additional photos:


Photographer unknown. Copyright Afro American Newspapers, all rights reserved.


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Taken on December 5, 1942