Why protest? What is the significance? It’s because when we stand together in large numbers for change, that is when it can actually occur. Have you heard of Executive Order 8802?
In 1941 there was an influx of jobs being created as America got ready for war. As many Black Men sought out these jobs, and rightfully so, they were met with much opposition. There was blatant discrimination, and even full blown violence in the workplace toward many Black Men. Determined not to take this injustice lying down, A. Philip Randolph, president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, and other black leaders,
united together to address this issue with President Roosevelt.
They presented a list of grievances and demanded that an Executive order be issued to stop job discrimination in the defense industry. They had a big march already scheduled to the White House that would bring thousands upon thousands of Black protesters to the steps of the White House. Roosevelt tried to compromise, but A. Philip Randolph would not budge until all of their demands were met. Fearful of the effects of a huge demonstration like the one that was scheduled to occur, Roosevelt responded to the black leaders and issued Executive Order 8802, which declared, “There shall be no discrimination in the employment of workers in defense industries and in Government, because of race, creed, color, or national origin.” The order also established the Fair Employment Practices Committee to investigate incidents of discrimination. When we stand together, united, that is when change happens. If this could happen at just the thought of us all coming together, imagine what would happen if we actually did?