Essay Role of African Americans in WWII

Essay Role of African Americans in WWII

Length: 1141 words (3.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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.
World War II presented several new opportunities for African Americans to participate in the war effort and thereby begin to earn an equal place in American society and politics. From the beginning of the war, the black media urged fighting a campaign for a “Double Victory”: a global victory against fascism at the warfront and national victory over racism at the homefront. In spite of the literary and artistic achievements of the Harlem Renaissance, the economic or political gains that the black community expected did not come to light from the African American participation in the First World War. (Perry 89) Thus the black media aimed to obtain that foothold that would bring about racial equality. They emphatically declared that there would be no lessening of racial activism, in order to present a consolidated front to America’s enemies.
On the home front, A. Philip Randolph’s threat to force a march on Washington to advocate for civil rights in wartime employment represented this new stance. When government defense contracting first started in the early 1940s, the US government acquiesced to the demands of many corporations that solely stipulated white hiring. For instance, of 100,000 aircraft workers in 1940, only 240 of the...

... middle of paper ...

... to Force a Change." "" by Perry, Earnest L., Jr. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2014.
Jeffries, John. Wartime America: The World War II Home Front. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1996. Print. American Way.
Kelley, Roger E. "America’s World War II Home Front Heritage." United States, n.d. Web.
Kersten, Andrew E. "African Americans and World War II." Organization of American Historians Magazine of History. Organization of American Historians, n.d. Web.
Kimble, Lionel, Jr. "I Too Serve America: African American Women War Workers in Chicago." Northern Illinois University, n.d. Web.
The National WWII Museum. African Americans in World War II Fighting for a Double Victory. New Orleans: National WWII Museum, n.d. National WWII Museum. Web.
Takaki, Ronald. Double Victory: A Multicultural History of America in World War II. N.p.: Little Brown and, n.d. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Changing Role of Minorities in America During WWII Essay

- During the time of World War II there was a dramatic change in the society of America and its way of life. Men were needed at war and the women were left at home. People were mistrusted and were falsely accused of crimes they did not do. Some people were even pushed away because they were different. Many of these people were the minorities of America. Some of the minorities it affected the most were the African Americans, women, Japanese Americans, and even young adults. What is a minority. A minority, in this case, is a person or group of people who are discriminated against because there is something about them that makes them different....   [tags: Minorities in WWII]

Strong Essays
1715 words (4.9 pages)

The United States Racism And Discrimination Directed At African Americans

- In the United States racism and discrimination directed at African Americans has been an ongoing struggle. However, looking back at history there is a story of triumph and determination that African Americans went through to claim what was rightfully there’s in the first place their freedom, the very basis the United States was built upon. Black capitalism and political accommodation was one of the reasons African Americans were able to combat Jim crow laws and eventually overcome them. I am not saying that racism has been completely eliminated today, but huge strides have been made in equality due to the brave organizations in the pre WWII era....   [tags: African American, Black people, Racism]

Strong Essays
1071 words (3.1 pages)

African American Athlete: Their Role in American Culture Essay

- ... He may have been the first glimmer of fair treatment and equality of African Americans. The Negro Leagues struggled for many years during the depression and the success of the league was always in question. Due to the Great Depression, the economy of the U.S. had hit rock bottom and “the future of black professional baseball and other African American enterprises” were being viewed with the same pessimism as the many bank and employment failures of the time. By1945, in large part to the war, ; the league was flourishing....   [tags: discrimmination, segregation, integration]

Strong Essays
3732 words (10.7 pages)

Essay on Women in the New York Navy Yard During WWII

- Women in the New York Navy Yard During WWII Beginning with the aggressive recruiting methods utilized to bring them in, and ending with the return of men from the war -- especially veterans -, women became extremely active in the working force during World War II. This was evident at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where four thousand and six hundred women were employed. Even though they remained employed for up to six months after the war, eventually men did return to their positions, leaving only women veterans still qualified to hold a position there....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
494 words (1.4 pages)

Black Soldiers in WWII Essay

- Despite all this, African-American soldiers showed amazing restraint in the face of such adversity such when Nelson Peery and his fellow soldiers were on base when word that white rioters were burning the colored section of town. There they sat, armed, trained, and dangerous, and yet they stayed their hands, and let the town of beumonts authority handle it, though Peery would later reflect on the hopelessness he felt as he convinced his fellow soldiers to stay their hands. “A Black man will never be anything more than a boy in this counry....   [tags: segregation, inequality, discrimination]

Strong Essays
1534 words (4.4 pages)

U.S. Entry into WWII Essay

- The United States, at the time of World War II, was facing an economic depression which concerned the American public and President Roosevelt because they knew that America’s involvement with the war was inevitable. Most resources state that “the United States entered World War II largely unprepared” (America and Word War II 610). However, due to the fact that while preparing for the war there was an increase in economic growth, African Americans and women became more involved in industry and the military, and President Roosevelt incorporated several acts and embargos that encouraged Americans to produce more supplies as well as permitted Britain and France to purchase goods from the United...   [tags: Preparation, Economy, Military]

Strong Essays
1356 words (3.9 pages)

The War that Change the World of Warfare Essay

- The onslaught of World War Two would change the world of warfare as we know it in. War has already gone from large units marching to one another and repeatedly opening fire to trench warfare. Where people would dig in and fight in open fields full of land mines, traps, barb wire, and the dead, as bullets whizzed by and tanks roll passed to a new war one fought in city’s house to house, in open fields, and on beach heads. The next evolution into this modern war was the advent of Naval Special warfare units....   [tags: WWII, navy, sailor, NCSU]

Strong Essays
1429 words (4.1 pages)

Essay about America During WWII

- “Yesterday, December 7, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy -- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”1 This quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt marks the address to congress concerning one of the most impacting events in the history of the United States: the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Twentieth century American history was filled with monumental events. From the assassination of William McKinley and subsequent presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, to Black Thursday in 1929, to the assassination of John F....   [tags: World War II 2 American History]

Strong Essays
1611 words (4.6 pages)

Richard Pratt 's Influence On Native Americans Essay

- Throughout the history of America the thought of Assimilation has been fought for and against. Many people such as the Native Americans where forcibly stripped of their culture and Americanized. Others such as the German Americans willingly assimilated in political views but tried to hold onto their culture. All of these situations lead to hatred by white Americans at some point through our history. The Native Americans during the westward expansion, German Americans during WWI, and Japanese immigrants during WWII....   [tags: United States, Hawaii]

Strong Essays
1380 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Post Wwii Americ A Rugged Terrain For All African Americans

- Post WWII America presented a rugged terrain for all African Americans. Jim Crow laws and racial segregation ran rampant in the streets making life as an African American person extremely difficult. To add to the difficulty already present, to be a writer, or an artist of any kind, was simply asking for trouble. A number of African American writers traveled to Paris in attempt to get away from the racism stricken United States. The more welcoming French culture offered racial equality as well as a beautiful place to live and work, or so they thought....   [tags: African American, United States, Black people]

Strong Essays
1495 words (4.3 pages)