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The Detroit News Subscribe Sign In

During the war, gas rationing meant that
almost everyone rode the trolleys, which
were crammed full and sometimes led to
racially motivated shoving and fights. On
the job, bigoted white factory workers
refused to work alongside African-
Americans and slowed down the lines, or
halted production altogether to protest
the promotion of their black co-workers.

To protest unfair conditions, some blacks
began a "bumping campaign" -- walking
into whites on the streets and bumping
them off the sidewalks, or nudging them
in elevators. Resentment on both sides
often escalated into street fights.

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