In his survey of black work in Peoria, Bill Conver suggested that “Negroes are not only laborers and housemaids” and focused on the question of black social mobility.

Conver looked at the 1956 report of the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce and found that the list of jobs in the survey showed few non-white workers holding “supervisory or more responsible positions.”

At the same time, large employers in Peoria consistently denied that there were any barriers to black advancement.