Civil and Social Rights of the Negro

March 25, 1939

Report Outline
Race Discrimination as National Problem
Limitation of Political Rights of Negroes
Inequality in Educational Opportunities
Social Discrimination Against Negroes

Race Discrimination as National Problem

Finding that discrimination against Negroes in New York state is widespread, particularly in the fields of employment, education, housing, recreation, and hospitalization, an official Commission on the Condition of the Urban Negro Population has recommended passage by the New York legislature of 14 specific measures to improve the economic, social, and cultural opportunities of the state's 500,000 Negro residents. The fact, as shown by the commission's two-year investigation, that Negroes do not share equally with white persons the rights and privileges of citizenship was held to “seriously affect the general public welfare of the state.”

Discrimination Controversy in District of Columbia

National attention was centered on the problem of discrimination against Negroes, in mid-February, by the refusal of the Daughters of the American Revolution to rent Constitution Hall, at Washington, to the sponsors of a concert by Marian Anderson, Negro contralto, and by the subsequent refusal of the school board of the District of Columbia to allow the use of a white high school for the same purpose. Action of the D. A. R. led Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt to submit her resignation from the society.

Following the formation of a “Marian Anderson Citizens' Committee,” which sponsored a mass meeting in protest against the school board's decision, and the presentation of a petition bearing some 7,000 signatures urging reversal of the ruling, the board voted to rescind its earlier action and to permit use of the school auditorium on the “positive and definite assurance and agreement that the concession will not be taken as a precedent and that the board in future will not be asked to depart from the principle of a dual system of school facilities.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
African Americans and the Civil Rights Movement
Jul. 22, 2022  Black Hairstyles
Nov. 15, 1985  Black America Long March for Equality
Aug. 12, 1983  Black Political Power
Jan. 18, 1980  Black Leadership Question
Aug. 15, 1973  Black Americans, 1963–1973
Nov. 26, 1969  Racial Discrimination in Craft Unions
Sep. 11, 1968  Black Pride
Feb. 21, 1968  Negro Power Struggle
Mar. 08, 1967  Negroes in the Economy
Jan. 19, 1966  Changing Southern Politics
Oct. 27, 1965  Negroes in the North
Jul. 21, 1965  Negro Revolution: Next Steps
Oct. 14, 1964  Negro Voting
Sep. 21, 1964  Negroes and the Police
Jul. 03, 1963  Right of Access to Public Accommodations
Jan. 23, 1963  Negro Jobs and Education
Mar. 25, 1960  Violence and Non-Violence in Race Relations
Aug. 05, 1959  Negro Employment
Apr. 18, 1956  Racial Issues in National Politics
Apr. 18, 1951  Progress in Race Relations
Dec. 17, 1948  Discrimination in Employment
Jan. 10, 1947  Federal Protection of Civil Liberties
Aug. 25, 1944  The Negro Vote
Jul. 01, 1942  Racial Discrimination and the War Effort
Mar. 25, 1939  Civil and Social Rights of the Negro
Jul. 22, 1927  Disenfranchisement of the Negro in the South
Civil Rights Movement
Civil Rights: African Americans
Segregation and Desegregation