A Moment in black history.
In 1933, Lawson founded the New Negro Alliance (NNA) in Washington, D.C., along with John A. Davis, Sr. and M. Franklin Thorne, to combat white-owned businesses in black neighborhoods that would not hire black employees. The NNA instituted a then-radical Don’t Buy Where You Can’t Workcampaign, and organized or threatened boycotts against white-owned businesses. In response, some businesses arranged for an injunction to stop the picketing. Lawson, the lead attorney, with assistance by Thurgood Marshall, fought back – all the way to the United States Supreme Court in New Negro Alliance v. Sanitary Grocery Co. (1938) that safeguarded a right to boycott. This became a landmark case in the struggle by African Americans against discriminatory hiring practices, and Don’t Buy Where You Can’t Work groups multiplied throughout the nation.
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