Law Administration and Negro-White Relations in Philadelphia. A Study in Race Relations.
A study of Philadelphia’s African American population, police, and the law, commissioned after a 1944 racial conflict involving a strike of workers of the Philadelphia Transportation Company (PTC) and the threat of race riots in the city. The Philadelphia transit strike of 1944 was the largest racially motivated labor strike in the United States during the Second World War.
On August 1, 1944, because of wartime labor shortages, newly trained Black workers of the PTC began to take positions as drivers and conductors, non-menial jobs previously reserved for whites. By noon that day, with racial tensions rising, 4,500 white employees of the PTC responded by going out on strike, crippling an essential wartime service.
Acting under the provisions of the Smith–Connally Act (War Labor Disputes Act), President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the War Department to take control of the PTC and sent 5,000 armed soldiers into Philadelphia. The intervention ended the strike and a federal Grand Jury was convened on August 8, the judge charging “the jury with determining the hidden racist motives behind the strike.”¹
In the aftermath, a citizen-led agency, the Bureau of Municipal Research, commissioned and published this study of Blacks in Philadelphia and the police. The agency made three recommendations: first, police training in race relations and anti-prejudice; second, the systematic and consistent tracking of crime statistics on incidents indicating racial tensions; and third, the establishment of a permanent civic public relations committee to disseminate information and foster race and cultural relations.
Chapter headings include “The Negro in Philadelphia—Employment and Social Status”; “Negro Crime and Delinquency”; “The Philadelphia Police Force”; “The Negro and the Police”; and “The Negro and the Legal Process.” Includes Summary, two maps, and numerous tables. Seven appendices discuss such topics as discrimination in homicide cases, an analysis of interviews with inmates in the Philadelphia Prisons; an analysis of juvenile court comparing Black and white delinquents, and segregation in city hospitals.
Description: Law Administration and Negro-White Relations in Philadelphia. A Study in Race Relations.
Philadelphia: Bureau of Municipal Research of Philadelphia, 1947. First Edition. 183pp. 8vo. Publisher’s original cloth; possibly issued without dust jacket. Slight toning to endpapers; near fine.
Note. 1. Philadelphia transit workers strike against negro workers, 1944 [Global Nonviolent Action database via Swarthmore College] accessed online.