When the US entered World War II, the idea was foreign that black troops had the skill or courage to fight alongside white soldiers in war. "Compared to the white man, [a black man] is admittedly of inferior mentality. He is inherently weak in character." claimed one War Department report. Consequently, the armed forces were heavily segregated. African-Americans were often given the most menial jobs, and were barred from enlisting in certain branches of the military like the Marines or the Air Corps. Still, one million, two hundred thousand African-Americans fought in the Second World War (Jim Crow 1). And in doing so, they proved once and for all that black Americans deserved a chance to fight for their country. Among these soldiers were the Tuskegee Airmen, the first ever black fighter pilots. They out-performed other, white, escort squadrons, and achieved fame and glory with their impressive flying. But more than that, they destroyed forever the assumption that African-Americans didn't have the skills necessary to fight in war. The Tuskegee Airmen faced racism and endured rigorous training, but flew excellently in World War II, aiding in the eventual integration of all armed forces.
Those studying the experience of African Americans in World War II consistently ask one central question: “Was World War II a turning point for African Americans?” In elaboration, does World War II symbolize a prolongation of policies of segregation and discrimination both on the home front and the war front, or does it represent the start of the Civil Rights Movement that brought racial equality? The data points to the war experience being a transition leading to the civil rights upheavals of the 1960s.
Looking at the great things that happened during the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, it is hard to think that something such as race would still be so prevalent in everyday life. With failed attempts at reconstruction, partially successful attempts at reconstruction, often brutal oppression of African Americans, things like the Jim Crow Laws, Eugenics, public lynchings and some southern states not allowing blacks to vote America reached an all-time low in race relations. Author Rayford W. Logan in his book The Negro in American Life and Thought: The Nadir 1877-1901 (1954) presented the idea that this period was the low point or “nadir” for the African American population .
This gave many Americans jobs whether it was becoming soldiers or building supplies to help with the war effort. African Americans were even discriminated against during this effort. This caused President Roosevelt to issue Executive Order 8802, “stating that all persons, regardless of race, creed, color or national origin, would be allowed to participate fully in the defense of the United States.” (Race Relations in the 1930s and 1940s 1) This later led to African Americans to gain the respect of many White Americans. This was the single way to received a way out of the Great Depression, the African Americans had to fight for a country that had previously held them
African American pilots in the U.S. military prior to World War II, never existed and were never even thought of prior to WWII; only during was when they officially formed their first group, Tuskegee Airmen. They fought and successfully rose above two wars in their active time, the war overseas and their own war against Racism within America. The Tuskegee Airmen contributed greatly in the United States’ forces and efforts in leading the U.S to be victorious in WWII.
African-American soldiers fought for equal rights during World War II. They were segregated from white soldiers and were denied certain privileges such as bearing arms. Though some black soldiers attained high military ranks and did heroic acts, not one was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. (HighBeam, 2007)
In the U.S. blacks did not have respect from the nation they were "fighting" for. The American military treated blacks like second class G.I.'s. Aside from segregation, blacks were not allowed to hold any special positions for being seen as the second class citizens they were. "A regimental commander from the black 92nd Division stated: `As fighting troops, the negro must be rated as second class material, this due primarily to his inferior intelligence and lack of mental and moral qualities'"(82). Blacks were not appreciated or even revered as able bodies in a war.
During the years leading up to World War I, no black man had ever served as a pilot for the United States Army, ever since the beginning of the United States Army Air Service in 1907. The Tuskegee Airmen changed this and played a huge part in the fight for African-American rights for years to come.
...or their heroic efforts during times of such as the 369th battalion and Doris Miller. African Americans had more of their basic rights, political voice, respect, and were able to blend into American society by the end of World War II.
Black soldiers were among the bravest of those fighting in the Civil War. Both free Blacks in the Union army and escaped slaves from the South rushed to fight for their freedom and they fought with distinction in many major Civil War battles. Many whites thought Blacks could not be soldiers. They were slaves. They were inferior. Many thought that if Blacks could fight in the war it would make them equal to whites and prove the theory of slavery was wrong. Even though Black soldiers had to face much discrimination during the Civil War, they were willing to fight to the death for their freedom. In the movie “Glory“ the director focused on the African Americans in the north that fought in the 54th regiment led by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. During the time of the Civil War, the African Americans that fought in the 54th regiment were often treated unfairly but there were always nice people that backed them up.
African Americans were very questionable at first in the Civil War. The Union Navy had been already been accepting African American volunteers. Frederick Douglass thought that the military would help the African Americans have equal rights if they fought with them. Many children helped in the Civil War also, no matter how old they were. Because the African Americans were unfavorable, black units were not used in combat as they might have been. Nevertheless, the African Americans fought in numerous battles. African Americans fought gallantly. Northern leaders also saw another reason to have African Americans in the Civil War is that the Union needed soldiers. Congress aloud them to enlist them because they thought they might as well have more soldiers.
World War II opened up several opportunities for African American men during and after the war. First of all, the blacks were able to join the military, the Navy and the Army Air Corps’ (Reinhardt and Ganzel 1). The African Americans were allowed to join the military because they were needed, but they would be trained separately and put in separate groups then the white men because America was still prejudice. (Reinhardt and Ganzel 1). The same went for the African Americans that joined the Navy, only they were given the menial jobs instead of the huge jobs (Reinhardt and Ganzel 1). African Americans that joined the Army Air Corps’ were also segregated (Reinhardt and Ganzel 1). The Army Air Corps’ African American also known as the Tuskegee Airmen were sent to the blacks university in Tuskegee for their training (Reinhardt and Ganzel 1). They became one of the most well known groups of flyers during World War II th...
World War I (1914-1918), also known as the Great War, is hands down, one of the nations bloodiest, life changing wars of history. Not only was it transformative to the history of America but it became a movement for African American history. However the movement of African American History during WWI saw many disappointments aside opportunities. The affects WWI had on African Americans is often looked past due to the immense cruelty faced in its entirety. But by now, many knew the struggle and strife African Americans faced in American history. World War I sparked the ongoing change for the black community. African Americans encountered migration, joining the militia, and political protest during this war.
Go back in time exactly 56 years, it is now 1960. Now, picture yourself in the 60’s and picture yourself hanging out with friends. It is a typical sunny day, school is out and you are hungry; so your first instinct is to get food. You arrive at the restaurant and the front is empty. You sit down, look through the menu and decide what to order. The server comes out and refuses to wait on you. Why would the server refuse to get the order? You have money. You are willing to pay for food. You are not causing trouble. You are hungry and want to eat. Have you realized you are African-American? What are you going to do about this? Are you just going to leave or are you going to take a stand? In 1960 four college students thought that this was unfair therefore, they took a stand. They would not leave as a matter of