By the mid‐20th century, forty‐one states had passed legislation that criminalized interracial relationships. The ban on what was then known as “miscegenation” was an overt expression of white supremacy.
Although black porters on Pullman train cars endured racial prejudice and tough working conditions, they used it as an opportunity to foment support for civil rights and to put their families on the next rung of the economic ladder.
White owned newspapers often ignored or downplayed racism. However, the Chicago Defender, a paper run by black people for black readers, turned the public spotlight on systemic discrimination against black workers and veterans.