AFRO 125th logo

The National Newspaper Publishers Association held their annual convention June 21-24 at the National Harbor in Prince George’s County, Md. The below story recounts how in 1945 the NNPA, then known as the Negro Newspaper Publishers’ Association, held their annual meeting in Washington, D.C. At the end of it, the group released a letter to President Harry S. Truman asking him to help pass the Fair Employment Practice bill, which would have outlawed employment discrimination nationwide.

Support for FEPC, Anti-Poll Tax Urged
Group Also Confers With House Leaders

June 2, 1945

WASHINGTON The executive committee of the Negro Newspaper Publishers’ Association met three days in Washington last week and chose New York for the July Annual Convention.

Members conferred with the House Democratic Majority Leader John W. McCormick, and Republican minority leader Joe Martin, in the Capitol, urging both to use their influence to get the FEPC bill passed.

Talked to President

The publishers also talked to the veterans’ administrator Brig. Gen. Frank T. Hines, urging the abolition of jim crow in veterans’ hospitals.

Others to appear before the committee were William Pickens, Thurgood Marshall, NAACP, and John P. Davis.

They wound up Friday with a brief visit to the White House at which John Sengstacke, Chicago Defender and association president, and Carl Murphy, president of the AFRO-AMERICAN, were the spokesmen.

The publishers were the guests of the Washington AFRO-AMERICAN at dinner at the Casbah Restaurant and Supper Club on U. St. Friday night. Ralph Matthews was toastmaster.

The text of the NNPA statement to the President follows:

Mr. President, we are not unaware of the many great problems, foreign and domestic, with which you are faced. We, ourselves, have no lag in our interest in the winning of ultimate and complete victory in the war, and in the establishment of permanent peace.

We, like you, are concerned with and about the total problems of these United States. It is in the spirit of that total picture that we respectfully seek your active interest and support of four specific matters which are pressing at this time.

Ask Strong FEPC

We respectfully urge, Mr. President, that you make the Fair Employment Practice bill, with enforcement powers, an administration measure.

We urge, sir, that you direct the Attorney General to use all the powers of his office to carry out its full force and effect the decision of the Supreme Court in the Texas primary case affecting the rights of all American citizens to participate in all primary elections.

We urge further, Mr. President, that you appoint a colored man as assistant administrator in the Veterans’ Administration to aid the administrator in seeing that all veterans,  regardless of their race or color, will benefit from the provisions of the GI Bill and other veterans’ legislation without the losses that colored men frequently suffer through administrative channels.