Freedom from Race Prejudice in Employment

When a black man, a friend of mine, who had a limited education, applied for defense work during wartime, the interviewer was impressed by his penmanship. She attached "Jr." in front of the title of Warehouseman, which meant he was capable of being a clerk.

As a checker of domestic supplies, he trained several individuals coming into his department. The manager of the warehouse would often come to him in locating certain items for special shipment overseas. The merchandise was labeled by number only. Whenever a certain number was requested, my friend could usually tell the manager the exact section of the warehouse where the item could be found.

Then the war went into its last year, and the management started cutting down in this department. One of the very men my friend had trained was put over him as his immediate superior. Of five hundred clerks retained, only four were black.

July 15, 1972

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