The Battle to Desegregate the DC Transit System Part I

This is the first part of a three part series documenting the importance of the Washington street cars in the battle of desegregation. I found it interesting and important story worth sharing. I think its great that the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 689 has chosen to share these.

Description: Washington, DC African Americans fight discrimination on streetcars. 1st part ends with “Streetcar War” of 1919. The companies that ran these streetcars were the predecessor companies of the Washington, DC Metro rail and bus system.

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3 Responses to “The Battle to Desegregate the DC Transit System Part I”

  1. […] of the Washington street cars in the battle of desegregation. If you missed part I, you can see it here. I was created by the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local […]

  2. I was very happy to see your video on the desegregation of streetcars in Washington, D.C. Prior to Sojourner Truth’s incidents on DC streetcars, Lt. Col. Alexander T. Augusta, a commisioned surgeon in the Union Army, had an incident on a streetcar when he attempted to sit in the covered area rather than upfront with the driver. He was ejected from the car. When Charles Sumner heard of the incident he brought a resolution before Congress to abolish segregated cars. This was on Feb. 9, 1864 and is recorded in the Congressional Record for that day’s proceedings. It was really Augusta’s incident that initiated Sumner’s resolution, but Sojourner Truth did actively advocate for it and enforce it.

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