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May 27, 1944
Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African-American Newspapers

May 27, 1944

On May 27, 1944, the Cleveland Call and Post ran an advertisement from American Steel and Wire introducing readers to a factory worker named John D. Wright. Wright, the ad suggests, “wishes that his friends and acquaintances who want to help him produce vital war material would come to the Personnel Office at Cleveland Coke Works of American Steel and Wire Company.” National Smelting Company ran an ad on the same page, noting, “Here at National, white and colored men have always worked side by side—for over 30 years.”

The front page of the Call and Post told a different story regarding race relations in the war industries. White workers, themselves migrants to Ohio from the South, walked out of Euclid-Case Foundry shell plant because they did not want to work alongside black workers. “So while our armies in Italy blast away with 105 mm. shells at the Nazi foe, and ammunition stocks are rapidly depleted, the replacements that should be flowing from the Euclid-Case plant have been bottle-necked by Old Man Jim Crow,” the paper reported (click to view PDF).