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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Richard Bowman, July 8, 1998. Interview K-0513. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Job counselor in Los Angeles refused to help discriminatory employers

While applying for jobs in Los Angeles, Bowman met a job counselor who refused to fill requests for a prejudiced employer. When an employer requested only white applicants, the counselor refused to send any applications to him.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Richard Bowman, July 8, 1998. Interview K-0513. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

KELLY ELAINE NAVIES:
What did you do when you first got there, between 59 and 65?
RICHARD BOWMAN:
I start-the only job I could find-and they were just as racist in Los Angeles as they were in the South. I checked in at the department of employment and they sent me for interviews and the counselor there tole me-said one man told him over the phone don't send blacks, said he tore up the man's application in front of me, cause the man told him he didn't want black applicants, all he wanted was white applicants. So, he told him I won't send you anyone else. You get your job applicants from some other place. This is what the man at the State Employment Office told him. Anyway, the first job I had was pumping gas at a gas station, because I had to have some income from somewhere and so I uh did that until I found a better paying job driving a truck delivering automobile glass and when I first starting doing that job the man asked me could I drive a truck and I said oh yes, I could drive a truck eventhough I knew I hadn't had any truck driving experience.