Race, Jobs, and the War: The FEPC in the Midwest, 1941-46
In this rigorous and thoroughly documented study focusing on the pivotal Midwest, Andrew Edmund Kersten shows how a tiny government agency -- the ... Show synopsis In this rigorous and thoroughly documented study focusing on the pivotal Midwest, Andrew Edmund Kersten shows how a tiny government agency -- the President's Committee on Fair Employment Practice (FEPC) -- influenced the course of civil rights reform, moving the United States closer to a national fair employment policy and laying the foundation for today's contested affirmative action practices. Rejecting claims that black advancement during the war was due primarily to shortages of labor, Race, Jobs, and the War contends that the FEPC made significant strides in allaying discrimination, especially when local authorities cooperated. Fighting an uphill battle to dismantle deep-seated and virulent racism, the FEPC succeeded in breaking some racial barriers, settling complaints, and pursuing a vigorous educational campaign to foster more harmonious industrial relations between white and minority workers. The FEPC also acted as a catalyst, inspiring midwestern local communities to rejuvenate and transform their own fights against employment discrimination.