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Louis Austin and the Carolina TimesA Life in the Long Black Freedom Struggle$
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Jerry Gershenhorn

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469638768

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469638768.001.0001

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Double V in North Carolina

Double V in North Carolina

The Struggle for Racial Equality during World War II

(p.60) Chapter Three Double V in North Carolina
Louis Austin and the Carolina Times

Jerry Gershenhorn

University of North Carolina Press

During World War II, Austin was North Carolina’s leading advocate of the Double V strategy during World War II, fighting for victory at home against racist injustice, while supporting US efforts against the Axis powers abroad. Austin shined a bright light on the contrast between the United States government’s wartime rhetoric of fighting for freedom in Europe and Asia, and the oppression experienced by blacks every day on the home front. Unlike many black leaders in North Carolina, Austin supported A. Philip Randolph’s March on Washington Movement, which compelled President Franklin D. Roosevelt to issue an executive order that banned racial discrimination in defense plants. Despite being harassed by several federal government agencies, including the FBI and the IRS, Austin refused to tone down his attacks on the US and North Carolina governments for perpetuating racially oppressive policies. In 1944, Austin revitalized the Durham branch of the NAACP after a white bus driver murdered a black soldier. The bus driver, who was exonerated by an all-white jury, shot the soldier, who had initially refused to accommodate to Jim Crow seating.

Keywords:   Louis Austin, March on Washington Movement, A. Philip Randolph, North Carolina College for Negroes, Carolina Times, James Shepard, FBI, race riots, Booker T. Spicely, Double V

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