Thursday, May 27, 1943
An unintended consequence of the Home Front war effort was the breakdown of racial barriers. Factories desperate for workers turned to a group they had once despised, African-Americans. Still referred to at that time as “Negro” or “Colored,” these workers were placed side-by-side with the existing Caucasian workforce, an arrangement that revealed the depth of the racial divide in the South. While the poll tax debate continued in Congress, riots in broke out in an Alabama shipyard when Negro welders were assigned to work alongside whites. Police and soldiers had to bring the situation under control and protect the African-American workers. So Owen Evan Jones was right; America was fighting the Civil War all over again.