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THE HUNGER MARCH When, in December, 1932, the hunger marchers, elected delegates of the unemployed from coast to coast, swung down the streets of the national capital after being penned by military force in a valley on the outskirts of the city for more than 48 hours, two of the leaders were Negro workers. Negro delegates, who were more than a quarter of all the marchers, were all through the ranks. As the marchers—with a police escort that exceeded the delegates in numbers—went through the Negro districts of Washington, every house was emptied, every street was filled with cheering men, women and children. The hunger marches of 1931 and 1932 threw fear into the hearts of the starvation-lords of America. And not the least of their fear was the unbreakable solidarity of Negro and white workers. "No discrimination against Negro workers!" "Equal relief for the Negro jobless!" These and similar slogans were displayed on banners carried by marchers, both Negro and white. The national hunger marches smashed through Jim Crow lines everywhere. Delegations of Negro and white forced even Southern charity stations to house the groups together. The marchers indignantly rejected offers of lodging in government-owned camps with discrimination against Negroes. When a city official suggested to a delegation that the Negroes leave for another lodging, a wave of indignation went through the group, and the official was thrown out. The delegates, Negro and white, 6 ate, slept, fought, side by side. On every leading committee of the marchers were Negro workers. David Paindexter, Negro worker of Chicago, led the first delegation to the capitol. Behind the delegates were records of struggle in every important center of the country. No fighters in these struggles were more militant than the Negroes. In Chicago and in Cleveland, Negro members of the Unemployed Council gave their life's blood in the struggle against evections. In the struggles for bread in Detroit and in St. Louis, where the city officials answered the demand of the starving for bread, with a rain of bullets-Negroes were in the front ranks, and where among those murdered in the fight. Young Angelo Herndon, Negro leader of the workers, who has been sentenced to serve 18 to 20 years on the Georgia chain-gang is the victim of this boss-terror, because he led the hungry workers of Atlanta to demand relief from the city council. WHY NEGRO WORKERS ARE FIGHTING It was no accident that the Negro delegates were in the front ranks in the national hunger marches. It was no accident that such a large number of the marchers, who had withstood hunger and cold and threats of death from the armed forces at Washington to present the demands of the unemployed-that such a large number were Negroes. There are seventeen million workers out of job in the United States today. They are starving and homeless. All of them have reasons to fight against these conditions. But the Negro workers have double the cause to fight. 7
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