Committee on Jobs for Negroes in Public Utilities, Joint Flyer, Circa 1943

About the Project

The Committee on Jobs for Negroes in Public Utilities was organized on August 15, 1942 in response to Washington DC’s Capital Transit Company’s refusal to hire African American bus and streetcar operators. The group sponsored demonstrations and received support from the local NAACP and other organizations to pressure the Capital Transit Company to end discriminatory hiring practices.

When those efforts didn’t work the committee changed their approach and began appealing to the federal Fair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC) to force Capital Transit to comply with Executive Order 8802, which prohibited employment discrimination and promoted equal opportunity in the nation’s defense industry. President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the FEPC in 1941 in part to hinder a planned “March on Washington Movement” by civil rights activist A. Philip Randolph and others.

Despite various attempts by the FEPC in the 1940s to bring Capital Transit to compliance with federal guidelines; it wasn’t until 1955 that Capital Transit agreed to promote African Americans within the company and to seek to hire new operators.

Help us transcribe these documents and learn more about the efforts of the Committee on Jobs for Negroes in Public Utilities to fight discriminatory employment practices in the Nation’s Capital.

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