New York: Pioneer Publishers, .
15pp. 8vo. Pictorial wrappers, very fragile Item #322760
In September 1940, fifteen of the ship's African American mess men wrote an open letter to a newspaper protesting the treatment of African Americans in the Navy. "We sincerely hope to discourage any other colored boys who might have planned to join the Navy and make the same mistake we did. All they would become is seagoing bell hops, chambermaids and dishwashers," they wrote. On publication of the letter, the fifteen were confined to the brig. They were later dishonorably discharged. The incident drew protests from hundreds of mess men on other ships as well as anger in the African American community, and led to a series of meetings between Roosevelt and NAACP leaders A. Philip Randolph and Walter White to discuss partial desegregation of the armed forces.