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When Bunche went to Washington in 1940, he was very much concerned that African Americans were going to be left out of what was becoming the war effort, and in fact they were completely left out. They were at best janitors in some factories. They had no serious place in the work force which was going to make America into the arsenal of democracy, and he was very anxious to get that point of view across in the White House. So he wrote to Mrs. Roosevelt, as I remember it, with twelve points about what really had to be done to correct this, and to his enormous surprise, he instantly received an invitation to lunch; and he was extremely impressed with Mrs. Roosevelt, with her candor, with her openess, with her complete lack of any prejudices of any kind, and her great interest in the problem. And I think it did have some effect because very shortly thereafter we got the equal opportunities commission and all these things, pieces of legislation which were the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement.


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