A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Monday, January 17, 2011

African Americans in the Matawan Journal - 23 April 1959

The New Jersey State Commissioner of Education ordered Madison Township Public Schools to hire Charles Williams, an African American living in New Brunswick, after the township refused to hire him in September 1958 solely due to his race. He submitted his application for employment in May 1958 and was considered and rejected for positions that he was qualified for at the beginning of the school year.

The case, based on his complaint filed in Mar 1959, was the first such anti-discrimination case to be heard in the state, according to The Matawan Journal of 23 April 1959. An effort to resolve the case before it came to a formal hearing failed. The Commissioner found probable cause to exist and the case was promptly resolved in Mr Williams' favor.

The commissioner's resolution included orders for the Madison schools superintendent to cease and desist with his discriminatory hiring practices, for the school board to promptly consider Mr Williams' application for employment, for the board to compensate Mr Williams for lost wages for the interim period between September 1958 and the date Madison hires him, and for the district to report back to the commissioner on their compliance with his various orders.


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