Viewing page 2 of 2


Members of the Institute on Race Relations have been asking for planned action, and now they're going to get it. The Citizens'Committee on Race Relations, a large organization of leaders in Washington churches, social work and race relations groups, has requested our group to accomplish a specific job.

It seems that the U.W.C.A. cafeteria at 17th and K Streets, N.W. has become swamped with customers, both white and colored, and may not be able to serve all. The sub-committee on restaurants of the Citizens' Committee wants the IRR to make a complete survey of all eating places within a three-block area of the 'Y'.

We shall go in small mixed groups or couples, and attempt to obtain service in each restaurant and drug store. If refused, we shall ask why that policy is observed, but shall not conduct a sit-down. We shall take notes on each place as to cleanliness, price-range, etc., and shall turn this information over to the Citizens' Committee. We shall also help complete an enlarged map of the area showing which places will serve colored patrons, which ones won't, and the government buildings which have colored employees.

It is reported that three or four restaurants in that vicinity have been serving colored customers. Whelan's Drug Store at 17th and Pennsylvania has already been tested, with the usual result of no service and "passing the buck" as to who sets the policy.

If you can work on this task any time of the day or night, please call Marjorie Kendrick (RE. 1035) immediately. The survey should be completed by Thursdays, January 20, and we need volunteers to finish it by then.
* * * * * * * * *
The War Manpower Commission outlaws discrimination and segregation by employers in war and essential industries. However, it was recently discovered by the daughter of an IRR member, Mrs. King, that the United States Employment Service office at 5th and K Streets, N.W. has a policy of segregating applicants. There is a separate line-up for white and a separate one for colored applicants. The guard was said to be very rude when Mrs. King's daughter took her place in the wrong line.

It is suggested that to solve this problem, a committee be appointed to see Mr. Farmer, head of the USES. If he is unwilling to cooperate in seeing that this policy is changed, we might then employ non-violent direct action, with reporters and photographers at the scene. It is assumed that the WMC would not favor publicity on such a hypocritical policy.
* * * * * * * *
In December, the following peopel were elected officers of the IRR for the year 1944: president, Tom Todd; vice-president, Frances Catlett;secretary, Marjorie Kendrick;treasurer, Bill Jones. Helen Hardesty was appointed chairman of the church visiting committee; Miss Etta Sherman is chairman of the special religious program and church education committee. Chairmen will be selected in the near future for the non-violent direct action, the legislative, the restaurant and the social committees. But the group can't function with just officers. We needs lots of willing workers and a goodly amount of financial help. 
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact