Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African-American Newspapers

August 24, 1939

On August 24, 1939, the Los Angeles Sentinel encouraged readers to “discontinue the use of their electrical service on each Thursday night from 8 p.m.” The “Dark Night” campaign came in response to an investigation of the Los Angeles Bureau of Power and Light by Sentinel publisher Leon Washington, Jr.. Washington reported that “the bureau’s camp [80 miles from Los Angeles, near Victorville, California] contained separate wash rooms and separate toilets for the workers, with the signs reading ‘FOR COLORED ONLY.’”  The August 3 article described the Los Angeles Bureau of Power and Light’s practices as “‘Dixie’ Jim Crow” and “Hitler tactics.”

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