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african americans in 1930's | Vintage: African American Women. / 1930s
First Massive African American Protest in American History - July 28, 1917 - The riots in East St. Louis began when whites, angry because African Americans were employed by a factory holding government contracts, went on a rampage. Over $400,000 worth of property was destroyed. At least 40 African Americans were killed. Men, women and children were beaten, stabbed, hanged and burned. Nearly 6,000 African Americans were driven from their homes.
Women in the War Industry Amanda Smith, an African-American woman employed in the Long Beach Plant of the Douglas Aircraft Company. Between 1940 and 1944, approximately one million civilian African Americans entered the labor force; 600,000 of them were female. The proportion of black women in industrial occupations almost tripled during the war, rising from 6.5 to 18 percent. Los Angeles-area aircraft plants were among the first to offer them employment.