The Detroit Urban League In Detroit

2050 Words9 Pages
Throughout the 1900s, the African American citizens and visitors to Detroit, Michigan faced discriminatory treatment by the white citizens of Detroit and the surrounding areas. As a means of lessening the unfair treatment of African Americans, several groups, including the Detroit Urban League, were organized to increase the welfare and decrease the negative actions toward and hatred of the African American people of Detroit. The Detroit Urban League focused on the involvement and incorporation of African American adults and youth in the workplace, housing, and education settings of Detroit. According to Elaine Moon, the author of the book African American life series: Untold tales, unsung heroes, “In 1916 the Detroit Urban League was founded to address the needs of the large number of blacks who were migrating to Detroit in hopes of finding a better life” (Moon, 1993, p. 13). Mr. Forrester B. Washington (IMAGE 1) was one of the founding members of the Detroit Urban League. As new job opportunities, especially in the industrial and car manufacturing fields, were being created in Detroit, African Americans applied for several of the available jobs in hopes of gaining an income to support themselves and their families. However, most of the African American job applicants were turned down by many of the white employers, even if the African Americans had the necessary education and skills to successfully perform the job tasks on a daily basis. Upon noticing this rejection of African American job applicants by white employers, the Detroit Urban League implemented informational meetings regarding employment in the daily operation of their organization. Thomas Sugrue, the author of the book The origins of the urban crisis: Race and inequ... ... middle of paper ... ...gue officials conducted various surveys regarding the number of African American employees in several types of jobs. These surveys showed, on average, a very low percentage of African American employees in many, if not all, of the job types the Urban League surveyed. In response to this low percentage, Urban League officials and members created several programs to assist African American youth and adults in having success with obtaining higher education and steady employment. With their efforts, the Detroit Urban League has opened many doors for the African American citizens of Detroit which were previously thought of as unattainable. As the services and programs offered by the Detroit Urban League continue to grow and evolve, the positive impact the Urban League has had for many of the African American citizens of Detroit will continue for many generations to come.
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