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Svarte og WWI - Historie


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300 000 svarte tjenestegjorde i de amerikanske væpnede styrkene under første verdenskrig. 1400 tjenestegjorde som offiserer.

Afroamerikanere i første verdenskrig

I begynnelsen, da første verdenskrig startet, var USA involvert i den. Imidlertid så afroamerikanerne krigen som en mulighet til å vinne respekt i samfunnet som ble skilt og behandlet afroamerikanerne som andre klasses borgere. Afroamerikanerne, til tross for behandlingen, var villige til å tjene nasjonen sin da det ble klart at USA ville gå inn i krigen. Dessverre, selv da var det militære som avviste dem.

I april 1917, da USA erklærte krig mot Tyskland, innså planleggerne ved krigsdepartementet at deres styrke av soldater ikke var tilstrekkelig til å gi amerikanerne en seier. Den 18. mai 1917 vedtok den amerikanske kongressen derfor Selective Service Act, som krevde at alle mannlige amerikanske borgere fra 21 år til 31 år ble trukket inn i hæren. Det er viktig å merke seg at før loven ble vedtatt, begynte afroamerikanere i hæren for å bevise sin patriotisme og lojalitet, slik at de ville få rettferdig behandling i landet.

USA hadde 6 regimenter av afroamerikanske tropper som ble ledet av hvite offiserer. Senere, i 1869, ble regimentene organisert i 4, nemlig det 9. og 10. kavaleri, og det 24. og 25. infanteri. Men når det ble kunngjort at USA ville delta i første verdenskrig, sluttet krigsdepartementet å ta imot afroamerikanske frivillige etterhvert som kvoten ble fylt opp.

Da utkastet kom til scenen, ble afroamerikanerne imidlertid skrevet. Det ble sett at selv om afroamerikanerne bare utgjorde 10 prosent av den amerikanske befolkningen, var 13 prosent av de induserte svarte. Den amerikanske hæren var diskriminerende, men omfanget var ikke så mye som man ser på andre grener. Afroamerikanerne kunne ikke bli marinesoldater og marinen og kystvaktene tillot de svarte å tjene bare i begrensede og meniske stillinger. Men da første verdenskrig var over, var afroamerikanere i kavaleri-, infanteri-, signal-, medisinske, artilleri- og ingeniøravdelinger. I tillegg jobbet de som etterretningsoffiserer, landmålere, kapellaner, kjemikere og lastebilsjåfører.

Dessverre jobbet svært få afroamerikanere i kampenheter, ettersom flertallet av dem ble henvist til arbeidsbataljoner. De 4 afroamerikanske regimentene ble ikke utplassert utenlands. Dette resulterte i at afroamerikanerne protesterte, noe som førte til at krigsavdelingen dannet den 92. og 93. divisjonen i 1917 som kampenheter for afroamerikanere. Med opprettelsen av disse kampene begynte krigsdepartementet å lete etter afroamerikanske offiserer, og dette førte til en adskilt, men lik treningsleir for offiserer. Fort Des Moines ble treningsleir for afroamerikanske offiserer i 1917 og rundt 1 970 svarte deltok på treningsleiren. Av disse 250 var allerede underoffiserer, mens de resterende var sivile. Rett etter at treningen var over og kadettene satt i drift, ble Des Moines -leiren lagt ned. Deretter ble afroamerikanere sendt til Puerto Rico, Panama, Hawaii og Filippinene for trening.

Når de afroamerikanske soldatene ble sendt til Europa, jobbet de veldig hardt. De var ansvarlige for lossing av skip og deretter transport av materialer til baser, havner og jernbanedepoter. Etter hvert som krigen gikk, fikk de afroamerikanske arbeidsenhetene ansvaret for å grave skyttergraver, begrave de døde, fjerne ueksploderte skjell, rydde piggtråd og utstyr som ikke lenger var funksjonelt.

De afroamerikanske stridsenhetene hadde ikke et bånd eller samhørighet da mennene trente hver for seg, og dette ville forklare hvorfor Meuse Argonne -kampanjen ikke gikk bra for enhetene. Mens den amerikanske hæren ikke tenkte så mye på de afroamerikanske kampavdelingene, dekorerte franskmennene soldatene som tilhørte 365. infanteri og 350. maskingeværbataljon for deres tapperhet og aggressivitet.

Da våpenhvilen skjedde 11. november 1918, feiret de afroamerikanske soldatene akkurat som alle andre soldater i seieren. De trodde det ville bli møtt som helter når de kom tilbake til landet sitt. Dette skulle imidlertid ikke være. Men dette stoppet ikke afroamerikanerne fra å verve seg i militæret.

Den første alliansen i første verdenskrig var Triple Alliance som fant sted mellom Tyskland, Italia og Østerrike-Ungarn. Så var det en allianse mellom franskmennene og russerne, men dette varte ikke lenge. Alliansen mellom Frankrike og Russland hadde økonomiske årsaker bak seg. Russerne ble imidlertid sinte på tyskerne etter kongressen i Berlin, og dette førte til at alliansen gikk i stykker. Mer..


Black Codes og Jim Crow

De første trinnene mot offisiell segregering kom i form av 𠇋lack Codes. ” Dette var lover vedtatt i hele Sør fra rundt 1865, som dikterte de fleste aspektene ved svarte folks liv, inkludert hvor de kunne jobbe og bo. Kodene sikret også svarte menneskers tilgjengelighet for billig arbeidskraft etter at slaveriet ble avskaffet.

Segregering ble snart offisiell politikk håndhevet av en rekke sørlige lover. Gjennom såkalte Jim Crow-lover (oppkalt etter en nedsettende betegnelse for svarte), adskilte lovgivere alt fra skoler til boligområder til offentlige parker til teatre til bassenger til kirkegårder, asyl, fengsler og boliger. Det var separate venterom for hvite mennesker og svarte mennesker på profesjonelle kontorer, og i 1915 ble Oklahoma den første staten som til og med skilte offentlige telefonkiosker.

Høgskoler ble skilt og separate sorte institusjoner som Howard University i Washington, DC og Fisk University i Nashville, Tennessee ble opprettet for å kompensere. Virginia ’s Hampton Institute ble opprettet i 1869 som en skole for svarte ungdommer, men med hvite instruktører som underviste i ferdigheter for å henvise svarte mennesker i tjenestestillinger til hvite.


Svart historie tidslinje: 1910–1919

Som det foregående tiåret fortsetter svarte amerikanere å kjempe mot rasemessig urettferdighet. Ved å bruke forskjellige protester - skrive redaksjoner, publisere nyheter, litterære og vitenskapelige tidsskrifter og organisere fredelige protester - begynner de å avsløre segregeringsproblemer, ikke bare for USA, men for verden.

Keystone / Staff / Getty Images

I følge amerikanske folketellingen, teller svarte amerikanere nesten 10 millioner, nesten 11% av USAs befolkning. Omtrent 90% av Black Americns bor i sør, men et stort antall vil begynne å migrere nordover på jakt etter bedre jobbmuligheter og levekår.

29. september: National Urban League er etablert i New York City. Formålet med NUL er å hjelpe svarte amerikanere med å finne jobber og bolig. Som ligaen beskriver på nettstedet sitt, er oppdraget:

NUL vil vokse til 90 datterselskaper som betjener 300 samfunn i 37 stater og District of Columbia.

November: NAACP publiserer det første nummeret av Krise. W.E.B. Du Bois blir månedsmagasinets første sjefredaktør. Magasinet dekker hendelser som Great Migration. I 1919 vokser bladet til en estimert månedlig opplag på 100 000.

I hele USA etableres lokale forskrifter for å skille nabolag. Baltimore, Dallas, Louisville, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Richmond, Roanoke og St. Louis etablerer slike ordinanser som skiller svart og hvitt nabolag.

5. januar: Kappa Alpha Psi, et afroamerikansk brorskap, ble grunnlagt av 10 studenter ved Indiana University i Bloomington, Indiana. I følge universitetets nettsted:

17. november: Omega Psi Phi er etablert ved Howard University "av studenter Edgar A. Love, Oscar J. Cooper og Frank Coleman på kontoret til deres fakultetsrådgiver, biologiprofessor Ernest E. Just," ifølge universitetets nettsted. "Manndom, stipend, utholdenhet og løft" blir vedtatt som gruppens hovedprinsipper under det første møtet på Justs kontor i Science Hall (nå kjent som Thirkield Hall), bemerker brorskapets nettsted.

Mer enn 60 svarte amerikanere blir lynsjert i år, en del av en større voldelig trend i USA, siden det er nesten 5000 lynchinger i hele landet mellom 1882 og 1968, hovedsakelig av svarte menn.

12. september: TOALETT. Handy publiserer "Memphis Blues" i Memphis. Handy, kjent som "Father of the Blues", endrer løpet av amerikansk populærmusikk med publiseringen av sangen, som bringer afroamerikansk folketradisjon inn i vanlig musikk og påvirker senere Blues -storheter som John Lee Hooker, BB King og Koko Taylor, bemerker Library of Congress.

Claude McKay gir ut to diktsamlinger, "Songs of Jamaica og Constab Ballads." En av de mest produktive forfatterne av Harlem -renessansen, bruker McKay temaer som svart stolthet, fremmedgjøring og ønske om assimilering i skjønnlitterære verk, poesi og sakprosa gjennom karrieren.

Hulton Archive / Getty Images

22. – 27. September: 50 -årsjubileet for frigjøringsproklamasjonen feires. The Library of Congress til i dag har et element som heter "Suvenir og offisielt program, femti års frihet: 22. september 1862-22. September 1912 nasjonal jubileum i feiringen av femtiårsdagen for utstedelsen av frigjøringsproklamasjonen, september 22 til 27, 1912, Washington, DC " Det er en del av bibliotekets afroamerikanske perspektiver i sin sjeldne boksamling og ble gitt til institusjonen av Daniel Murray, en svart mann og assisterende bibliotekar ved LOC som bidro til å etablere det som ble kalt "Coloured Authors 'Collection" selv om det var en donasjon av 1100 bøker og gjenstander fra svarte amerikanske forfattere.

13. januar: Delta Sigma Theta, en svart sororitet, er etablert ved Howard University. Datoen, sier universitetet på nettstedet:

Woodrow Wilsons administrasjon etablerer føderal segregering. Over hele USA er føderale arbeidsmiljøer, lunsjområder og toaletter atskilt. Wilson kaster til og med William Monroe Trotter ut av det ovale kontoret når borgerrettighetslederen kommer for å diskutere saken med presidenten 12. november, bemerker Atlanteren. Et århundre senere vil studenter ved Princeton University, hvor Wilson også fungerte som president, protestere mot hvordan skolen har hedret ham i lys av hans rasistiske arv.

Afroamerikanske aviser som California Eagle starte kampanjer for å protestere mot fremstillingen av svarte mennesker i D.W. Griffiths "Birth of a Nation". Som et resultat av redaksjoner og artikler publisert i svarte aviser, er filmen forbudt i mange lokalsamfunn i hele USA.

Apollo Theatre ble grunnlagt i New York City. Benjamin Hurtig og Harry Seamon får en 31-årig leieavtale på det nybygde, nyklassiske teatret, designet av George Keister, og kalte det Hurtig og Seamons New Burlesque. Afroamerikanere har ikke lov til å delta som lånetakere eller opptre i teaterets første år, slik det er tilfellet med de fleste amerikanske teatre den gangen. Teatret ville stenge i 1933 etter at New York Citys fremtidige ordfører Fiorello La Guardia startet en kampanje mot burlesk. Den åpner igjen et år senere, i 1934, under nytt eierskap, som Apollo.

Mark Reinstein / Getty Images

21. juni: Oklahoma Bestefar -klausulen er veltet inn Guinn mot USA. I sin enstemmige mening, levert av sjefsjef CJ White, bestemmer retten at Oklahoma bestefar -klausul - etter å ha blitt skrevet på en måte for å tjene "ingen rasjonell hensikt" annet enn å nekte svarte amerikanske borgere stemmerett - krenker den 15. endringen til den amerikanske grunnloven.

9. september: Carter G. Woodson etablerer Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. Samme år publiserer Woodson også "The Education of the Negro Before to 1861." I løpet av sin levetid jobber Woodson med å etablere feltet med svart amerikansk historie på begynnelsen av 1900 -tallet og bidrar med mange bøker og publikasjoner til feltet svart forskning.

NAACP forkynner at "Lift Every Voice and Sing" er den afroamerikanske nasjonalsangen. Sangen ble skrevet og komponert av to brødre, James Weldon og Rosamond Johnson. Åpningslinjene til sangen, som først ble fremført 12. februar 1900, som en del av feiringen av president Abraham Lincolns fødselsdag, forkynner:

14. november: Booker T. Washington dør. Han hadde vært en fremtredende svart pedagog og forfatter, som hadde vært slaver fra fødselen, steg til en makt- og innflytelsesposisjon, grunnla Tuskegee Institute i Alabama i 1881 og overvåket dens vekst til et respektert svart universitet.

A & ampE Television Networks / Wikimedia Commons

I januar: Woodsons ANSLH publiserer det første vitenskapelige tidsskriftet dedikert til svart amerikansk historie. Publikasjonen kalles Journal of Negro History.

I mars: Marcus Garvey etablerer New York -grenen av Universal Negro Improvement Association. Organisasjonens mål inkluderer grunnleggelse av høyskoler for generell og yrkesrettet utdanning, fremme av bedriftseierskap og oppmuntring til en følelse av brorskap blant den afrikanske diasporaen.

James Weldon Johnson blir feltsekretær for NAACP. I denne posisjonen organiserer Johnson massedemonstrasjoner mot rasisme og vold. Han øker også NAACPs medlemsruller i sørlige stater, en aksjon som ville sette scenen for borgerrettighetsbevegelsen flere tiår senere.

Underwood & amp Underwood / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 4.0

6. april: Når USA går inn i første verdenskrig slutter anslagsvis 370 000 svarte amerikanere seg til de væpnede styrkene. Mer enn halvparten tjener i den franske krigssonen og mer enn 1000 svarte offiserer kommanderer tropper. Som et resultat blir 107 svarte soldater tildelt Croix de Guerre av den franske regjeringen.

1. juli: East St. Louis Race Riot begynner. Når det to dager lange opptøyet er over, blir anslagsvis 40 mennesker drept, flere hundre blir såret og tusenvis er fordrevet fra hjemmene sine.

28. juli: NAACP organiserer en stille marsj som reaksjon på lynchinger, løpstøyer og sosial urettferdighet. Betraktet som den første store borgerrettsdemonstrasjonen på 1900 -tallet, deltar nesten 10 000 svarte amerikanere.

I august: Budbringeren er etablert av A. Philip Randolph og Chandler Owen. I følge nettstedet BlackPast:

I juli: Tre svarte og to hvite mennesker blir drept i løpsopprøret i Chester, Pennsylvania. I løpet av få dager brøt det ut et nytt løpsk opptøyer i Philadelphia og drepte tre svarte mennesker og en hvit innbygger.

20. februar: "The Homesteader" er utgitt i Chicago. Det er den første filmen som ble produsert av Oscar Micheaux. I de neste 40 årene vil Micheaux bli en av de mest fremtredende svarte filmskaperne ved å produsere og regissere 24 stumfilmer og 19 lydfilmer.

I mars: Claude A. Barnett grunnlegger Associated Negro Press på Chicagos sørside og forblir direktør i et halvt århundre, inntil det stenges i 1967. Ifølge Black Metropolis Research Consortium blir ANP den største og lengstlevende svart nyhetstjenesten, som leverer 150 svarte aviser i USA - og ytterligere 100 i Afrika - med meningsspalter, anmeldelser av bøker, filmer, plater og poesi, tegneserier og fotografier.

I April: Heftet, "Thirty Years of Lynching in the United States: 1898–1918" er utgitt av NAACP. Rapporten brukes til å appellere til lovgivere om å stoppe den sosiale, politiske og økonomiske terrorismen knyttet til lynsjing. Bare i løpet av dette året lykkes 83 svarte mennesker - mange av dem soldater som vender hjem fra første verdenskrig - og Ku Klux Klan opererer ut av 27 stater.

Mai – oktober: Flere løpsopptøyer bryter ut i byer i hele USA. Johnson navngir disse løpsopptøyene som den røde sommeren 1919. Som svar publiserer Claude McKay diktet "If We Must Die."

Peace Mission Movement er opprettet av Father Divine i Sayville, New York. Fredsmisjonens fasiliteter, kalt "himmelen", vil spre seg over landet i de kommende tiårene. De er felles rasefelles fasiliteter som fremmer troen på et desegregert samfunn.


KJEMP FOR RESPEKT: Afroamerikanske soldater i første verdenskrig

Mens folket i USA så på at første verdenskrig tente over hele Europa, så afroamerikanske borgere en mulighet til å vinne respekten til sine hvite naboer. Amerika var et segregert samfunn og afroamerikanere ble i beste fall ansett som annenrangs borgere. Til tross for det var det mange afroamerikanske menn som var villige til å tjene i landets militære, men selv om det ble klart at USA ville gå inn i krigen i Europa, ble svarte fremdeles avvist fra militærtjeneste.

Da USA erklærte krig mot Tyskland i april 1917, innså krigsdepartementets planleggere raskt at den stående hæren på 126 000 mann ikke ville være nok til å sikre seier utenlands. Standard frivillighetssystem viste seg å være utilstrekkelig når det gjaldt å heve en hær, så den 18. mai 1917 vedtok kongressen Selective Service Act som krevde at alle mannlige borgere mellom 21 og 31 år skulle registrere seg for utkastet. Selv før handlingen ble vedtatt, ble afroamerikanske menn fra hele landet ivrig med i krigsinnsatsen. De så på konflikten som en mulighet til å bevise sin lojalitet, patriotisme og verdighet for likebehandling i USA.

Etter borgerkrigen oppløste hæren frivillige "fargede" regimenter, og etablerte seks vanlige hærregimenter med svarte tropper med hvite offiserer. I 1869 ble infanteriregimentene omorganisert til det 24. og 25. infanteri. De to kavaleriregimentene, det 9. og 10., ble beholdt. Disse regimentene ble plassert i vest og sørvest hvor de var sterkt engasjert i den indiske krigen. Under den spansk-amerikanske krigen så alle fire regimentene tjeneste.

Da første verdenskrig brøt ut, var det fire helt sorte regimenter: 9. og 10. kavaleri og 24. og 25. infanteri. Mennene i disse enhetene ble ansett som helter i lokalsamfunnene. Innen en uke etter Wilsons krigserklæring måtte krigsdepartementet slutte å ta imot svarte frivillige fordi kvotene for afroamerikanere var fylt.

Når det gjaldt utkastet, skjedde det imidlertid en reversering i vanlig diskriminerende politikk. Tavler besto utelukkende av hvite menn. Selv om det ikke var noen spesifikke segregeringsbestemmelser som er skissert i lovforslaget, ble svarte bedt om å rive av et hjørne av registreringskortene sine, slik at de enkelt kunne identifiseres og innføres separat. I stedet for å snu svarte, gjorde trekkbrettene alt de kunne for å ta dem i bruk, spesielt sørlige trekkbrett. Ett fritaksstyre i Georgia fylke utskrev førti-fire prosent av de hvite registrantene av fysiske årsaker og unntok bare tre prosent av de svarte registrantene basert på de samme kravene. Det var ganske vanlig at sørlige postarbeidere bevisst holdt tilbake registreringskortene til kvalifiserte svarte menn og lot dem arrestere for å være utkast til dodgers. Afroamerikanske menn som eide sine egne gårder og hadde familier ble ofte utarbeidet før enslige hvite ansatte på store plantasjere. Selv om de utgjør bare ti prosent av hele USAs befolkning, leverte svarte tretten prosent av de induserte.

Selv om hæren fortsatt var diskriminerende, var hæren langt mer progressiv i raseforhold enn de andre grenene av militæret. Svarte kunne ikke tjene i marinene, og kunne bare tjene begrensede og meniske stillinger i marinen og kystvakten. På slutten av første verdenskrig tjenestegjorde afroamerikanere i kavaleri, infanteri, signal, medisinsk, ingeniør og artillerienheter, i tillegg til å tjene som kapellaner, landmålere, lastebilsjåfører, kjemikere og etterretningsoffiserer.

Selv om de teknisk sett var kvalifisert for mange stillinger i hæren, fikk svært få svarte muligheten til å tjene i kampenheter. De fleste var begrenset til arbeidsbataljoner. Kampelementene i den amerikanske hæren ble holdt fullstendig adskilt. De fire etablerte helt sorte regimentene i den vanlige hæren ble ikke brukt i utenlandske kamproller, men ble i stedet spredt over hele amerikansk holdt territorium. Det var imidlertid en slik tilbakeslag fra det afroamerikanske samfunnet at krigsdepartementet til slutt opprettet divisjonene 92d og 93d, begge hovedsakelig svarte stridsenheter, i 1917.

Med etableringen av afroamerikanske enheter kom også etterspørselen etter afroamerikanske offiserer. Krigsavdelingen trodde soldatene ville være mer sannsynlig å følge menn i sin egen farge, og dermed redusere risikoen for noen form for opprør. De fleste ledere i det afroamerikanske samfunnet var enige, og det ble bestemt at hæren skulle opprette en adskilt, men visstnok lik, treningsleir for offiserer. I mai 1917 åpnet Fort Des Moines dørene for svarte offiser-traineer. Omtrent 1.250 menn deltok på leiren i Des Moines, Iowa.

To hundre og femti av disse mennene var allerede offiserer, og resten var sivile. Den gjennomsnittlige mannen som deltok på leiren måtte bare ha en videregående utdanning, og bare tolv prosent scoret over gjennomsnittet i klassifiseringstestene som ble gitt av hæren.

Kjør da LTC Charles C. Ballou, fortets stab på tolv West Point-nyutdannede, og noen få offiserer fra de fire originale helt svarte regimentene satte kandidatene gjennom en streng treningsrutine. De øvde på å bore med og uten armer, signalisere, fysisk trening, huske organisasjonen av regimentet, lese kart og trene på riflet og bajonetten. Men som Ballou bemerket etter krigen, tok mennene som tok opplæringen ikke jobben veldig seriøst, og syntes å betrakte skolen og kandidatene som bortkastet tid. Følgelig bestemte krigsavdelingen at instruksjonene ved Fort Des Moines var dårlig og utilstrekkelig. I tillegg til den dårlige treningen var det faktum at ingen visste nøyaktig hva de kunne forvente i Frankrike, så det var vanskelig å trene så nøyaktig som det var nødvendig.

Oktober 1917 mottok 639 afroamerikanske menn sine oppdrag som enten kaptein eller første eller andre løytnant, og ble tildelt infanteri, artilleri og ingeniør enheter med 92d divisjonen. Dette skulle være den første og eneste klassen som ble uteksaminert fra Fort Des Moines, krigsavdelingen la den ned umiddelbart etter avreise. Fremtidige svarte kandidater deltok på enten spesielle treningsleirer i Puerto Rico (hvorfra 433 offiserer ble uteksaminert), Filippinene, Hawaii og Panama, eller til vanlige offiseropplæringsfasiliteter i USA.

Hæren hadde ingen skriftlig politikk om hva de skulle gjøre hvis en offiserleir ble integrert, så hver leir fikk selv bestemme måten integrasjonen ble utført på. Noen var fullstendig adskilt og andre tillot svarte og hvite å trene sammen. Over 700 ekstra svarte offiserer tok eksamen fra disse leirene, og brakte det totale antallet til 1 353.

Selv om afroamerikanere tjente høyere stillinger i hæren, betydde det ikke nødvendigvis at de fikk lik behandling. Svarte tegnere ble behandlet med ekstrem fiendtlighet da de kom for trening. Hvite menn nektet å hilse på svarte offiserer og svarte offiserer ble ofte utestengt fra offiserklubbene og kvartalene. Krigsdepartementet gikk sjelden inn, og diskriminering ble vanligvis oversett eller noen ganger kondonert. Fordi mange sivile sørlige protesterte mot at svarte fra andre stater bor i treningsleirer i nærheten, bestemte krigsdepartementet at ikke mer enn en fjerdedel av praktikantene i noen hærleir i USA kunne være afroamerikanere.

Selv når de ble integrert i ganske progressive leirer, ble svarte soldater ofte behandlet dårlig og noen ganger gikk de i lange perioder uten ordentlig klær. Det ble også rapportert om svarte som mottok gamle borgerkrigsuniformer og ble tvunget til å sove ute i oppsatte telt i stedet for varmere, kraftigere brakker. Noen ble tvunget til å spise ute i vinterhalvåret, mens andre gikk uten klesbytte i flere måneder om gangen. Ikke alle svarte soldater ble imidlertid behandlet som denne, ettersom de som var så heldige å få trene på nyoppførte kantoner i den nasjonale hæren bodde i komfortable brakker og hadde sanitære latriner, varm mat og rikelig med klær.

De første svarte troppene som ble sendt til utlandet tilhørte tjenesteenheter. Fordi arbeidet som disse enhetene utførte var helt uvurderlig for krigsinnsatsen, lovet befalene spesielle privilegier til gjengjeld for resultater med høy avkastning. Med en slik motivasjon ville soldatene ofte jobbe i tjuefire timer med å losse skip og transportere menn og materiell til og fra forskjellige baser, havner og jernbanedepoter. Etter hvert som krigen fortsatte og soldater tok seg til slagmarkene, ble svarte arbeidsenheter ansvarlige for å grave skyttergraver, fjerne ueksploderte skjell fra åker, rydde funksjonshemmet utstyr og piggtråd og begrave soldater som ble drept i aksjon. Til tross for alt det harde og viktige arbeidet de tilbød, fikk afroamerikanske stuverier den verste behandlingen av alle svarte tropper som tjenestegjorde i første verdenskrig.

Selv om de ikke var så respektert som noen av de hvite soldatene som var involvert i krigsinnsatsen, var afroamerikanske kamptropper på mange måter mye bedre enn arbeiderne. De to kampdivisjonene 92d og 93d divisjonene hadde to helt forskjellige opplevelser mens de kjempet den store krigen.

92d -divisjonen ble opprettet i oktober 1917 og satt under kommando av BG Charles C. Ballou, som hadde organisert den første afroamerikanske offiserskandidatskolen. Organisert på en måte som ligner på de andre amerikanske divisjonene, består 92d av fire infanteriregimenter, tre feltartilleriregimenter, et skyttergravbatteri, tre maskingeværbataljoner, en signalbataljon, et ingeniørregiment, et ingeniørtog og forskjellige støtteenheter.

Selv om en svart offiser ikke i noen tilfeller hadde kommandoen over en hvit offiser, var de fleste offiserene (opp til rang som første løytnant) i enheten afroamerikanere. I motsetning til omtrent alle andre amerikanske enheter som trente for å gå i kamp, ​​ble soldater fra 92d tvunget til å trene separat mens de var i USA. Krigsavdelingen, som fryktet raseoprør, var villig til å ofre enhetens evne til å utvikle samhørighet og stolthet. Mangelen på et sterkt bånd mellom mennene var en av faktorene som førte til enhetens dårlige prestasjoner i Meuse-Argonne-kampanjen.

Den personlige fienden mellom LTG Robert Bullard, sjef for den amerikanske andre hæren, og BG Ballou var et annet problem. Bullard var ikke bare en fast rasist, men han hadde også en rivalisering med BG Ballou. For å få både Ballou og de svarte soldatene til å virke fullstendig inkompetente, spredte Bullard feilinformasjon om suksessene og fiaskoene på 92d.

Selv COL Allen J. Greer, stabssjef i Ballou, var inne på planen om å sabotere omdømmet til hans afroamerikanske enhet, og bidro til å sette en negativ vri på historier fra frontlinjene. Uavhengig av hvor godt 92d -divisjonen faktisk gjorde det på slagmarken, var det praktisk talt umulig å overvinne bagvaskelsen fra fordomsfulle offiserer.

Etter noen innledende suksesser i Lorraine i midten av august, 20. september 1918, ble 92d beordret til å fortsette til Argonne-skogen som forberedelse til Meuse-Argonne-offensiven. Divisjonen nådde frontlinjene like før det første angrepet. Det 368. infanteriregimentet mottok umiddelbart ordrer om å fylle et hull mellom den amerikanske 77. divisjon og den franske 37. divisjon. På grunn av mangel på opplæring med franskmennene, mangel på utstyr og ukjenthet med terrenget, fullførte regimentet imidlertid ikke dette viktige oppdraget. Mislykket med å gjennomføre dette avgjørende oppdraget skyldte 92d's kamprekord, og det ble ofte brukt av militære myndigheter i mer enn tretti år for å bevise at afroamerikanske soldater var utilstrekkelige i kamp.

Etter katastrofen i Argonne ble hele divisjonen sendt til et relativt rolig område av fronten i Marbache -sektoren. Deres hovedoppdrag var likevel farlig: trakassere fienden med hyppige patruljer. Faren for oppdraget gjenspeiles i de 462 tapene som ble påført bare den første måneden med patruljering. Selv om amerikanske sjefer var misfornøyde med enhetens prestasjoner, hadde franskmennene åpenbart en annen oppfatning. De dekorerte medlemmer av 365. infanteri og 350. maskingeværbataljon for deres aggressivitet og tapperhet.

I slutten av 1918 var den tyske hæren på full retrett, den allierte øverstkommanderende, feltmarskalk Ferdinand Foch, ønsket å legge tungt press for et avgjørende gjennombrudd og nederlag. 92d ble beordret til å ta høyden øst for Champney, Frankrike, 10. november 1918. Selv om angrepet bare varte en dag, var angrepet hardt og blodig, og kostet divisjonen over 500 tap.

Da 92d -divisjonen slet med å rydde sitt rykte, hadde 93d -divisjonen en mye mer vellykket opplevelse. Under ledelse av BG Roy Hoffman ble 93d -divisjonen også organisert i desember 1917. I motsetning til andre amerikanske infanteridivisjoner, var 93d begrenset til fire infanteriregimenter, hvorav tre besto av nasjonalgardenheter fra New York, Illinois, Ohio, Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts, District of Columbia og Tennessee. 93d består hovedsakelig av tegnere og nasjonalgarden, og manglet noen form for konsistens i sin erfaring eller sammensetning. Enheten manglet også sitt fulle antall kampenheter og støtteelementer, og oppnådde som et resultat aldri full divisjonsstyrke. Det så ut til å ha odds stablet mot det, og 93d klarte seg bemerkelsesverdig bra når han møtte kamp.

Riksarkivet

Situasjonen var desperat i Frankrike, og med utmattede og minkende hærer ba franskmennene USA om menn. GEN John Pershing, sjef for American Expeditionary Force, lovet dem fire amerikanske regimenter. Han bestemte seg for å gi dem regimentene i 93d -divisjonen siden franskmennene, som hadde brukt franske kolonitropper fra Senegal, hadde erfaring med å ansette svarte soldater i kamp. De første afroamerikanske kamptroppene som satte foten på fransk jord tilhørte 93d -divisjonen. Bevæpnet, organisert og utstyrt som en fransk enhet, tilpasset 93d seg raskt til det nye oppdraget. Selv om de opplevde vanskeligheter som språkproblemer, ble de svarte soldatene behandlet som likeverdige.

Det 369. infanteriet var det første regimentet i 93d -divisjonen som nådde Frankrike. De ankom havnebyen Brest i desember 1917. Den 10. mars, etter tre måneders tjeneste hos Services of Supply, mottok 369. en ordre om å bli med i den franske 16. divisjon i Givry en Argonne for tilleggsopplæring. Etter tre uker ble regimentet sendt til frontlinjene i en region like vest for Argonne -skogen. For nearly a month they held their position against German assaults, and after only a brief break from the front, the 369th was placed once again in the middle of the German offensive, this time at Minacourt, France. From 18 July to 6 August 1918, the 369th Infantry, now proudly nicknamed the “Harlem Hellfighters,” proved their tenacity once again by helping the French 161st Division drive the Germans from their trenches during the Aisne-Marne counter-offensive.

In this three-week period, the Germans were making many small night raids into Allied territory. During one of these raids, a member of the 369th Infantry, CPL Henry Johnson, fought off an entire German raiding party using only a pistol and a knife. Killing four of the Germans and wounding many more, his actions allowed a wounded comrade to escape capture and led to the seizure of a stockpile of German arms. Johnson and his comrade were wounded and both received the French Croix de Guerre for their gallantry. Johnson was also promoted to sergeant.

From 26 September to 5 October, the 369th participated in the Meuse-Argonne offensive, and continued to fight well throughout the remainder of the war. The regiment fought in the front lines for a total of 191 days, five days longer than any other regiment in the AEF. France awarded the entire unit the Croix de Guerre, along with presenting 171 individual awards for exceptional gallantry in action.

National Guard Heritage Series.

Although the 369th won much of the glory for the 93d Division, the 370th, 371st, and 372d Regiments, each assigned to different French divisions, also proved themselves worthy of acclaim at the front. The 370th fought hard in both the Meuse-Argonne and Oise-Aisne campaigns. Seventy-one members of the regiment received the French Croix de Guerre, and another twenty-one soldiers received the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC). Company C, 371st Infantry, earned the Croix de Guerre with Palm. The 371st Regiment spent more than three months on the front lines in the Verdun area, and for its extraordinary service in the Champagne offensive, the entire regiment was awarded the Croix de Guerre with Palm. In addition, three of the 371st’s officers were awarded the French Legion of Honor, 123 men won the Croix de Guerre, and twenty-six earned the DSC.

The 372d Infantry also performed admirably during the American assault in Champagne, and afterwards assisted in the capture of Monthois. It was there the regiment faced strong resistance and numerous counterattacks, resulting in many instances of hand-to-hand combat. In less than two weeks of front line service, the 372d suffered 600 casualties. The regiment earned a unit Croix de Guerre with Palm, and in addition, forty-three officers, fourteen noncommissioned officers, and 116 privates received either the Croix de Guerre or the DSC.

On 11 November 1918 at 1100, the armistice between the Allies and Central Powers went into effect. Like all other American soldiers, the African American troops reveled in celebration and took justifiable pride in the great victory they helped achieve. It was not without great cost: the 92d Division suffered 1,647 battle casualties and the 93d Division suffered 3,534. Expecting to come home heroes, black soldiers received a rude awakening upon their return. Back home, many whites feared that African Americans would return demanding equality and would try to attain it by employing their military training. As the troops returned, there was an increase of racial tension. During the summer and fall of 1919, anti-black race riots erupted in twenty-six cities across America. The lynching of blacks also increased from fifty-eight in 1918 to seventy-seven in 1919. At least ten of those victims were war veterans, and some were lynched while in uniform. Despite this treatment, African American men continued to enlist in the military, including veterans of World War I that came home to such violence and ingratitude. They served their county in the brief period of peace after the World War I, and many went on to fight in World War II. It was not until the 1948 that President Harry S Truman issued an executive order to desegregate the military, although it took the Korean War to fully integrate the Army. African Americans finally began to receive the equal treatment their predecessors had earned in combat in France during World War I, and as far back as the American Revolution.

For more reading on African American soldiers in WWI, please see: The Unknown Soldiers: African-American Troops in WWI by Arthur E. Barbeau & Florette Henri, The Right to Fight: A History of African-Americans in the Military, by Gerald Astor and Soldiers of Freedom, by Kai Wright.


The Racist Legacy of Woodrow Wilson

Students at Princeton University are protesting the ways it honors the former president, who once threw a civil-rights leader out of the White House.

The Black Justice League, in protests on Princeton University’s campus, has drawn wider attention to an inconvenient truth about the university’s ultimate star: Woodrow Wilson. The Virginia native was racist, a trait largely overshadowed by his works as Princeton’s president, as New Jersey’s governor, and, most notably, as the 28th president of the United States.

As president, Wilson oversaw unprecedented segregation in federal offices. It’s a shameful side to his legacy that came to a head one fall afternoon in 1914 when he threw the civil-rights leader William Monroe Trotter out of the Oval Office.

Trotter led a delegation of blacks to meet with the president on November 12, 1914, to discuss the surge of segregation in the country. Trotter, today largely forgotten, was a nationally prominent civil-rights leader and newspaper editor. In the early 1900s, he was often mentioned in the same breath as W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington. But unlike Washington, Trotter, an 1895 graduate of Harvard, believed in direct protest actions. In fact, Trotter founded his Boston newspaper, The Guardian, as a vehicle to challenge Washington’s more conciliatory approach to civil rights.

Before Trotter’s confrontation with Wilson in the Oval Office, he was a political supporter of Wilson’s. He had pledged black support for Wilson’s presidential run when the two met face-to-face in July 1912 at the State House in Trenton, New Jersey. Even though then-Governor Wilson offered only vague promises about seeking fairness for all Americans, Trotter apparently came away smitten. “The governor had us draw our chairs right up around him, and shook hands with great cordiality,’’ he wrote a friend later. “When we left he gave me a long handclasp, and used such a pleased tone that I was walking on air.” Trotter viewed Wilson as the lesser of other political evils.

The civil-rights leader was soon having second thoughts. In the fall of 1913, he and other civil-rights leaders, including Ida B. Wells, met with Wilson to express dismay over Jim Crow. Trotter’s wife, Deenie, had even drawn a chart showing which federal offices had begun separating workers by race. Wilson sent them off with vague assurances.

In the next year, segregation did not improve it worsened. By this time, numerous instances of workplace separation became well publicized. Among them, separate toilets in the U.S. Treasury and the Interior Department, a practice that Wilson’s Treasury secretary, William G. McAdoo, defended: “I am not going to argue the justification of the separate toilets orders, beyond saying that it is difficult to disregard certain feelings and sentiments of white people in a matter of this sort.”

For blacks—who ever since Lincoln’s War had expected some measure of equity from the federal government—the sense of a betrayal ran deep.

Trotter sought a follow-up meeting with the president. “Last year he told the delegation he would seek a solution,’’ he wrote a supporter in the fall of 1914. “Having waited 11 months, we are entitled to an audience to learn what it is. Not only for the sake of his administration but as a matter of common justice.” Of course, the president’s plate was full.

Wilson might have bumbled, and worse, on civil rights, but he was overseeing implementation of a “New Freedom” in the nation’s economy—his campaign promise to restore competition and fair-labor practices, and to enable small businesses crushed by industrial titans to thrive once again. In September 1914, for example, he had created the Federal Trade Commission to protect consumers against price-fixing and other anticompetitive business practices, and shortly after signed into law the Clayton Antitrust Act. He continued monitoring the so-called European War, resisting pressure to enter but moving to strengthen the nation’s armed forces. In addition to attending to the state’s affairs, Wilson was in mourning: His wife, Ellen, had died on August 6 from liver disease. On November 6, one of his advisers noted in his diary that the president had told him “he was broken in spirit by Mrs. Wilson’s death.”

Eventually, Wilson agreed to meet a second time with Trotter, and on November 12 the persistent editor and a contingent of Trotterites entered the Oval Office for their long-sought, long-awaited follow-up meeting. Trotter came prepared with a statement and launched the meeting by reading it.

Trotter began with a reference to their 1913 meeting and to the petition he had presented, containing 20,000 signatures “from thirty-eight states protesting against the segregation of employees of the national government.” He listed the on-the-job race separation that had gone unchecked since—at eating tables, dressing rooms, restrooms, lockers, and “especially public toilets in government buildings.” He then charged that the color line was drawn in the Treasury Department, in the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the Navy Department, the Interior Department, the Marine Hospital, the War Department, and in the Sewing and Printing Divisions of the Government Printing Office. Trotter also noted the political support he and other civil-rights activists had provided to Wilson. “Only two years ago you were heralded as perhaps the second Lincoln, and now the Afro-American leaders who supported you are hounded as false leaders and traitors to their race,” he said. And then he reminded the president of his pledge to assist “colored fellow citizens” in “advancing the interest of their race in the United States,” and ended by posing a question that contained a jab at Wilson’s much-ballyhooed economic-reform program. “Have you a ‘New Freedom’ for white Americans and a new slavery for your Afro-American fellow citizens? God forbid!”

The meeting quickly turned sour. The president told Trotter what he previously admitted in private—that he viewed segregation in his federal agencies as a benefit to blacks. Wilson said that his cabinet officers “were seeking, not to put the Negro employees at a disadvantage but . to make arrangements which would prevent any kind of friction between the white employees and the Negro employees.” Trotter found the claim astonishing, and immediately disagreed, calling Jim Crow in federal offices humiliating and degrading to black workers. But Wilson dug in. “My question would be this: If you think that you gentlemen, as an organization, and all other Negro citizens of this country, that you are being humiliated, you will believe it. If you take it as a humiliation, which it is not intended as, and sow the seed of that impression all over the country, why the consequence will be very serious,” he said.

Trotter was incredulous that the president didn’t seem to understand that separating workers based on race “must be a humiliation. It creates in the minds of others that there is something the matter with us—that we are not their equals, that we are not their brothers, that we are so different that we cannot work at a desk beside them, that we cannot eat at a table beside them, that we cannot go into the dressing room where they go, that we cannot use a locker beside them.” There was no letup. In his comments, Trotter had accused the president of lying by saying that race prejudice was the sole motivation for Jim Crow and that to assert otherwise, to claim his administration sought to protect blacks from “friction,” was ridiculous. “We are sorely disappointed that you take the position that the separation itself is not wrong, is not injurious, is not rightly offensive to you,” Trotter said.

Wilson interrupted Trotter: “Your tone, sir, offends me.” To the entire delegation, he said, “I want to say that if this association comes again, it must have another spokesman,” declaring no one had ever come into his office and insulted him as Trotter had. “You have spoiled the whole cause for which you came,” he told De Verge editor dismissively.

But Trotter would not be dismissed he was not one to find being surrounded by white people, and the trappings of power either alien or intimidating. He had been the only black in his class at Hyde Park High School outside Boston (where, regardless, he had been elected class president) and, at Harvard, outperformed most white classmates, some of whom had since become governors, congressmen, rich, and famous. Instead, he tried to steer the meeting back on track. “I am pleading for simple justice,” he said. “If my tone has seemed so contentious, why my tone has been misunderstood.” He said they needed to work this out, given that he and other African American leaders had supported Wilson’s presidential run at the polls.

But Wilson was angry, stating that bringing up politics and citing black voting power was a form of blackmail. The meeting, which had lasted nearly an hour, was abruptly over. The delegation was shown the door—essentially thrown out. When the incensed Trotter ran into reporters milling around Tumulty’s office, he began letting off steam. “What the President told us was entirely disappointing.”

The story about the dustup between the president and the Verge editor went viral. De New York Times’s front-page story was headlined, “President Resents Negro’s Criticism” while the front-page headline in the New York Press read: “Wilson Rebukes Negro Who ‘Talks Up’ to Him.” But the larger point was that his tough-talking landed Trotter back on front pages everywhere.

Wilson realized almost instantly his error—unfortunately, not the error of his racism, but the error in public relations. He had “played the fool,’’ he told a cabinet member afterward, by becoming unnerved in the face of what he considered Trotter’s impertinence. “When the Negro delegate (Trotter) threatened me, I was a damn fool enough to lose my temper and point him to the door. What I ought to have done would have been to listened, restrained my resentment, and, when they had finished, to have said to them that, of course, their petition receive consideration. They would then have withdrawn quietly and no more would have been heard about the matter.’’


Activity 1. The 92nd Division

Model for the class the activity they are about to complete. Share the handout "What They Say About the 92nd: Selected Quotes" on pages 1-2 of the Master PDF. The quotes represent examples of statements students may encounter some are quite specific, while others are more general. Spend only enough time on each to help students understand how to approach such material. Discuss:

  • What the quote says.
  • How the content might have been affected by bias.
  • Potential sources of bias.
  • Ways in which the four statements agree with and contradict one another.

Can we come to understand how participants "construct" their own experiences of events? Can we locate sources to support or contradict their perceptions? Can we determine how the 92nd Division performed in combat? Can we understand the factors affecting their performance? Students will explore these issues in small groups.

Divide the class into eight groups. Download, copy, and distribute to students the handout "The 92nd Division" on page 3 of the Master PDF. It provides basic background information on the 92nd Division, listing the units in each division, enabling students to identify by number the regiments, battalions, and batteries composing the 92nd. Students can refer to it as necessary when they are completing the activity below.

Each student group will be assigned one of the following sources to scout for information. By dividing up the research, the class will eventually become familiar with a variety of sources. As any one source could have a particular bias, students will be better able to judge the information and arrive at a conclusion about the 92nd when they share all the information.

  • Four groups can each scrutinize a relevant chapter from Scott’s Official History of The American Negro in the World War on the EDSITEment-reviewed resource Great War Primary Documents Archive. According to African American Odyssey: World War I and Postwar Society, on the EDSITEment-reviewed website American Memory, "Emmett J. Scott worked for eighteen years as the private secretary to Booker T. Washington. He became a Special Assistant to Secretary of War Newton Baker during World War I in order to oversee the recruitment, training, and morale of the African American soldiers. (His) ‘profusely illustrated’ 512-page volume gives a ‘complete and authentic narration … of the participation of American soldiers of the Negro race in the World War for democracy,’ and a ‘full account of the war work organizations of colored men and women.’" His work was published in 1919 and is filled with firsthand accounts.
  • One group can read accounts from eyewitnesses, in full or in part, on the EDSITEment-reviewed website Great War Primary Documents Archive.

If desired, groups can compile a summary of their research and findings based on the questions in the handout "Research Questions: The 92nd Division" on page 4 of the Master PDF.

Student groups should now share their information with the entire class. Allow time after all the information has been shared for students to ask questions of each other. Then, give the groups time to meet again and compose a position statement on what can be learned from the first-hand sources, given their contradictions.

If desired, each group can then share its position statement and the most compelling evidence supporting it. Another option is to proceed with Assessment.


The Tragic And Ignored History Of Black Veterans

On a December morning in 1918, Charles Lewis began his last day as a private in the United States Army. Just a month after the end of World War I, Lewis accepted his honorable discharge and left Camp Sherman, in Chillicothe, Ohio, one of the few military facilities that housed black soldiers. He was headed home to Alabama.

The next day he was dead, killed by a lynch mob in Fulton County, Kentucky.

While Lewis was waiting for the southbound train to leave Fulton, the local deputy sheriff boarded the train car, looking for suspects in a robbery. He approached Lewis, demanding to inspect his baggage. The young soldier, still in uniform, declared that he had just been honorably discharged and had never committed a crime in his life. Lewis even provided documents from his commanding officers at Camp Sherman attesting to his excellent service record. An argument broke out between the two and Lewis was charged with assault and resisting arrest.

His body, still in uniform, was left for all to see.

As Lewis was taken to the county jail in Hickman, Kentucky, news of the altercation spread. A mob of as many as 100 men gathered outside the jail. At midnight, masked men stormed the station, smashed the locks with a sledgehammer, pulled Lewis from his cell, and hanged him. His body, still in uniform, was left for all to see.

Days after his murder, True Democrat, a Louisiana paper, published an editorial entitled, “Nip It in the Bud.”

“The root of the trouble was that the negro thought that being a soldier he was not subject to civil authority,” the editorial read. “The conditions of active warfare and the regulations of army life have probably given these men more exalted ideas of their station in life than really exists and having these ideas they will be guilty of many acts of self-assertion, arrogance and insolence which will not be borne with, in the South at least, and which will be followed by consequences to them, more or less painful.”

Lewis is just one of dozens of African-American veterans who were the targets of racially motivated attacks detailed in “Lynching in America: Targeting Black Veterans,” a report by the Equal Justice Initiative in Alabama. Because a victim&aposs military service was often overlooked by newspapers and officials at the time, the report cites only the lynching of veterans whose military service was verified by EJI, according to Jennifer Taylor, a staff lawyer and one of the report’s authors. The number of veterans killed during this time period is likely much higher.

The latest report is the follow-up to a larger investigation by EJIpublished in 2015 that documented more than 4,000 lynchings — extrajudicial killings that often occurred in public — of African-Americans between 1877 and 1950.

Photo via the Library of Congress

A picket station of black troops near Dutch Gap Canal, in Virginia, November 1864.

The lynching of veterans served a particular purpose: African-Americans who’d served their country with honor posed a threat to the established racial hierarchy that was used to justify Jim Crow-era racism.Their murders were aimed at silencing the powerful voices of dissent against the racist system

The detailed accounts paint a graphic picture of racial violence in America and its insidious impact even on the men who answered their country’s call. It’s a history that was rarely shared publicly, Taylor explained, and so the stories remain mostly unknown.

After the Civil War and the abolition of slavery, the imposition of Jim Crow laws — the system of government-sanctioned segregation and racial bias that existed in the United States until the late 1960s — barred black people from fair access to the political and judicial process in many ways. Between the end of the Civil War and the years after World War II, thousands of black veterans were accosted, assaulted, and attacked. Many were lynched at the hands of mobs and individuals acting under the cover of official authority.

Photo via the National Archives

Soldiers with the New York National Guard’s 369th Infantry Regiment, popularly known as the “Harlem Hellfighters.” The unit was manned entirely by African-American enlisted soldiers with both black and white officers.

During the Red Summer of 1919, which earned its name from the anti-black riots that erupted in major cities across the country, countless black veterans were attacked. In that year alone, at least 10 were lynched.

Robert Truett, an 18-year old-Army veteran, was hanged in Louise, Mississippi, on July 15, 1919, because he allegedly made an “indecent proposal” to a white woman.

On Aug. 31, 1919, in Bogalusa, Louisiana, Lucius McCarty, an African-American Army veteran was accused of attempting to assault a white woman. A mob of 1,500 people gathered, pumped more than 1,000 rounds into his body, and dragged his corpse behind a car through the town’s black neighborhoods, before throwing the remains into a bonfire.

For many African-Americans, the military, though segregated and still infused with racial tension, offered at least the hope of economic and social mobility, but many returned to communities staunchly and, at times, violently opposed to the idea.

“It often breeded an internal and an external conflict and that played out in situations where people were coming home and were protesting various kinds of mistreatment,” Taylor explained.

Even during and after World War II, a global conflict meant to stem the tide of fascism and end mass genocide, some of the same veterans who fought for those ideals in theaters across the world were victimized in the United States, often for exercising the very rights they fought to protect.

Photo via the National Archives

A military policeman in Columbus, Georgia, April 13, 1942.

“That veteran status was kind of an opportunity to get up-close exposure to the hypocrisies that had actually existed in the country,” Taylor explained, pointing out that military service had a tendency to shape and impact the way African-American veterans viewed the racial hierarchies that existed in their own communities. “They had to figure out ‘Is that something I’m going to accept, or is that something I’m going to try to figure out how to continue to fight against?’”

On Feb. 8, 1946, Timothy Hood, an honorably discharged Marine, removed the Jim Crow sign from a trolley in Bessemer, Alabama. He was shot repeatedly by the trolley owner, before being arrested. He died in the back of the police car. Less than a month later, J.C. Farmer, a black veteran, was waiting for a bus in Wilson, North Carolina, on Aug. 17, 1946, when he was ordered into a police officer’s patrol car. When Farmer objected, the officer allegedly struck Farmer in the head. In the ensuing scuffle, the officer’s gun went off, shooting its owner in the hand. Within the hour, a mob had formed and Farmer was dead.

Photo via the National Archives

Sgt. John C. Clark Staff Sgt. Ford M. Shaw clean their rifles in a bivouac area alongside the East-West Trail in Bougainville on April 4, 1944.

In 1943, Maceo Snipes, left his home in Butler, Georgia, to enlist in the Army. Two and a half years later, with an honorable discharge, and $110 to his name, he returned to his family farm in Taylor County. With the war over, cotton, peanuts, and corn became his mission, while farm tools replaced the arms and equipment he carried during his six months in the Pacific theater.

Snipes likely believed that having served his country, he should have the right to vote in it too. On July 17, 1946, he was the only African-American in racially segregated Taylor County to vote in the Democratic primary for governor.

The next day, several white men in a pickup truck came to Snipes’ house and shot him, before driving away unhindered. Two days after making history as the first, and only, African-American in his county to cast a ballot in that election, he died of his wounds.

Fearing more attacks, his family fled, hastily burying his body under cover of darkness. To this day the exact location of his remains is unknown. The killing was listed as self-defense, though the family and historians, have refuted that repeatedly, arguing that it was a lynching.

“You could give so much to your country, and then return to a country that, at that time, gave so little back.”

“You have a person, like Maceo Snipes, who understood the significance of fighting for equal rights and fighting for the rights of all people to enjoy the benefits of this country,” Edward Dubose, a national board member with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, told Task & Purpose. For Dubose, a 21-year Army veteran who worked closely with the family of Snipes on efforts to launch a federal investigation of his death, the killing is particularly telling and deeply personal.

“A man was prepared to sacrifice his life, and for him to come back and be killed for engaging in something so sacred — the right to vote — for me, as a veteran, standing on people’s shoulders like Maceo Snipes, and dealing with my own discrimination in the military, it was just very personal,” Dubose said. “You could give so much to your country, and then return to a country that, at that time, gave so little back.”

Today, on the walls of the Taylor County courthouse in Butler, Georgia, are three plaques honoring World War II veterans from the area. One reads “Whites,” and another — where Snipes&apos name can be found — is labeled “Colored.” On a third, more recent plaque, Snipes’ name appears again, listed among all of his brothers in arms, whatever their skin color.

James Clarkis the Deputy Editor of Task & Purpose and a Marine veteran. He oversees daily editorial operations, edits articles, and supports reporters so they can continue to write the impactful stories that matter to our audience. In terms of writing, James provides a mix of pop culture commentary and in-depth analysis of issues facing the military and veterans community. Contact the author here.


A 'Forgotten History' Of How The U.S. Government Segregated America

Federal housing policies created after the Depression ensured that African-Americans and other people of color were left out of the new suburban communities — and pushed instead into urban housing projects, such as Detroit's Brewster-Douglass towers. Paul Sancya/AP skjul bildetekst

Federal housing policies created after the Depression ensured that African-Americans and other people of color were left out of the new suburban communities — and pushed instead into urban housing projects, such as Detroit's Brewster-Douglass towers.

In 1933, faced with a housing shortage, the federal government began a program explicitly designed to increase — and segregate — America's housing stock. Author Richard Rothstein says the housing programs begun under the New Deal were tantamount to a "state-sponsored system of segregation."

Historian Says Don't 'Sanitize' How Our Government Created Ghettos

The government's efforts were "primarily designed to provide housing to white, middle-class, lower-middle-class families," he says. African-Americans and other people of color were left out of the new suburban communities — and pushed instead into urban housing projects.

Rothstein's new book, The Color of Law, examines the local, state and federal housing policies that mandated segregation. He notes that t he Federal Housing Administration, which was established in 1934, furthered the segregation efforts by refusing to insure mortgages in and near African-American neighborhoods — a policy known as "redlining." At the same time, the FHA was subsidizing builders who were mass-producing entire subdivisions for whites — with the requirement that none of the homes be sold to African-Americans.

Code Switch

Everyone Pays A Hefty Price For Segregation, Study Says

Rothstein says these decades-old housing policies have had a lasting effect on American society. "The segregation of our metropolitan areas today leads . to stagnant inequality, because families are much less able to be upwardly mobile when they're living in segregated neighborhoods where opportunity is absent," he says. "If we want greater equality in this society, if we want a lowering of the hostility between police and young African-American men, we need to take steps to desegregate."

Interview Highlights

On how the Federal Housing Administration justified discrimination

A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

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The Federal Housing Administration's justification was that if African-Americans bought homes in these suburbs, or even if they bought homes near these suburbs, the property values of the homes they were insuring, the white homes they were insuring, would decline. And therefore their loans would be at risk.

There was no basis for this claim on the part of the Federal Housing Administration. In fact, when African-Americans tried to buy homes in all-white neighborhoods or in mostly white neighborhoods, property values rose because African-Americans were more willing to pay more for properties than whites were, simply because their housing supply was so restricted and they had so many fewer choices. So the rationale that the Federal Housing Administration used was never based on any kind of study. It was never based on any reality.

On how federal agencies used redlining to segregate African-Americans

The term "redlining" . comes from the development by the New Deal, by the federal government of maps of every metropolitan area in the country. And those maps were color-coded by first the Home Owners Loan Corp. and then the Federal Housing Administration and then adopted by the Veterans Administration, and these color codes were designed to indicate where it was safe to insure mortgages. And anywhere where African-Americans lived, anywhere where African-Americans lived nearby were colored red to indicate to appraisers that these neighborhoods were too risky to insure mortgages.

On the FHA manual that explicitly laid out segregationist policies

The Two-Way

Interactive Redlining Map Zooms In On America's History Of Discrimination

It was in something called the Underwriting Manual of the Federal Housing Administration, which said that "incompatible racial groups should not be permitted to live in the same communities." Meaning that loans to African-Americans could not be insured.

In one development . in Detroit . the FHA would not go ahead, during World War II, with this development unless the developer built a 6-foot-high wall, cement wall, separating his development from a nearby African-American neighborhood to make sure that no African-Americans could even walk into that neighborhood.

De Underwriting Manual of the Federal Housing Administration recommended that highways be a good way to separate African-American from white neighborhoods. So this was not a matter of law, it was a matter of government regulation, but it also wasn't hidden, so it can't be claimed that this was some kind of "de facto" situation. Regulations that are written in law and published . i Underwriting Manual are as much a de jure unconstitutional expression of government policy as something written in law.

On the long-term effects of African-Americans being prohibited from buying homes in suburbs and building equity

Today African-American incomes on average are about 60 percent of average white incomes. But African-American wealth is about 5 percent of white wealth. Most middle-class families in this country gain their wealth from the equity they have in their homes. So this enormous difference between a 60 percent income ratio and a 5 percent wealth ratio is almost entirely attributable to federal housing policy implemented through the 20th century.

African-American families that were prohibited from buying homes in the suburbs in the 1940s and '50s and even into the '60s, by the Federal Housing Administration, gained none of the equity appreciation that whites gained. So . the Daly City development south of San Francisco or Levittown or any of the others in between across the country, those homes in the late 1940s and 1950s sold for about twice national median income. They were affordable to working-class families with an FHA or VA mortgage. African-Americans were equally able to afford those homes as whites but were prohibited from buying them. Today those homes sell for $300,000 [or] $400,000 at the minimum, six, eight times national median income. .

So in 1968 we passed the Fair Housing Act that said, in effect, "OK, African-Americans, you're now free to buy homes in Daly City or Levittown" . but it's an empty promise because those homes are no longer affordable to the families that could've afforded them when whites were buying into those suburbs and gaining the equity and the wealth that followed from that.

NPR Ed

How The Systemic Segregation Of Schools Is Maintained By 'Individual Choices'

The white families sent their children to college with their home equities they were able to take care of their parents in old age and not depend on their children. They're able to bequeath wealth to their children. None of those advantages accrued to African-Americans, who for the most part were prohibited from buying homes in those suburbs.

On how housing projects went from being for white middle- and lower-middle-class families to being predominantly black and poor

Public housing began in this country for civilians during the New Deal and it was an attempt to address a housing shortage it wasn't a welfare program for poor people. During the Depression, no housing construction was going on. Middle-class families, working-class families were losing their homes during the Depression when they became unemployed and so there were many unemployed middle-class, working-class white families and this was the constituency that the federal government was most interested in. And so the federal government began a program of building public housing for whites only in cities across the country. The liberal instinct of some Roosevelt administration officials led them to build some projects for African-Americans as well, but they were always separate projects they were not integrated. .

The white projects had large numbers of vacancies black projects had long waiting lists. Eventually it became so conspicuous that the public housing authorities in the federal government opened up the white-designated projects to African-Americans, and they filled with African-Americans. At the same time, industry was leaving the cities, African-Americans were becoming poorer in those areas, the projects became projects for poor people, not for working-class people. They became subsidized, they hadn't been subsidized before. . And so they became vertical slums that we came to associate with public housing. .

The vacancies in the white projects were created primarily by the Federal Housing Administration program to suburbanize America, and the Federal Housing Administration subsidized mass production builders to create subdivisions that were "white-only" and they subsidized the families who were living in the white housing projects as well as whites who were living elsewhere in the central city to move out of the central cities and into these white-only suburbs. So it was the Federal Housing Administration that depopulated public housing of white families, while the public housing authorities were charged with the responsibility of housing African-Americans who were increasingly too poor to pay the full cost of their rent.

Radio producers Sam Briger and Thea Chaloner and Web producers Bridget Bentz and Molly Seavy-Nesper contributed to this story.


World War I

This feature commemorates the outbreak of the First World War. This major historical event became known as The Great War. The main belligerent European countries involved in the War were imperial powers with large colonial territories in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The First World War was the first war fought along modern industrial lines. What marked its difference from previous wars, in Europe, is the scale and brutality of casualties inflicted on both sides. Between July 1914, when the war began, and November 1918, when it was concluded, nine million soldiers were killed and twenty-one million wounded.

It was a war in which the technology of the industrial revolution was harnessed to the demands of the battlefield. The development of railways and steamships meant that large armies could be transported over long distance within days. Scientific advances in the chemical industry and the development of electricity rendered war firepower far more deadly than before, resulting in casualties on a scale never experienced before. The First World War also saw the introduction of the use of aircraft which made possible mass bombardments of civilians. This was the first time chemical weapons were introduced onto the battlefield. The War resulted in one of the first genocides of the twentieth century.

The social and political consequences of the War were far reaching. When the War began most of the world’s governments were ruled by imperial monarchies such as Tsarist Russia, Imperial Germany and the Austria-Hungarian Empire. By the end of the War, revolutions in Germany, Austria and Russia ended the era of absolutist monarchy as workers and soldiers rebelled against the suffering and deprivation imposed by the War.

The First World War had a huge impact on the position of women in society. In many countries the entire adult male population was involved in fighting. This created a huge shortage of labour which meant that the output from different sectors of the economy was not at its maximum capacity. The production of armaments and equipment needed by soldiers took priority over normal industrial production. Women stepped into the gap left by men in the spheres of transport, industry, policing and most war industries. They operated the munitions factories responsible for feeding the war machine. Women became a visible public presence, not just as wives and mothers, but as economic and social actors in their own right. Many also volunteered for medical service at the front. Before the war women worked primarily in domestic service, the textile industry and teaching. Traditionally, these were regarded as female occupations. With men gone to war, women filled their positions in engineering, shipbuilding, farming and commerce. An important consequence of the War was the granting of the vote to women. Before the war the Suffragette Movement in Great Britain had been waging a militant campaign in support of granting the vote to women. In June 1917, the House of Commons approved the women’s suffrage clause by adopting the Representation of the People’s Bill.

Edgar, Robert R. and Sapire, Hilary (1999). African Apocalypse: The Story of Nontetha Nkwenkwe, a Twentieth-Century South African Prophet. Athens, Ohio and Johannesburg: Ohio University Press).|Grundlingh, Albert, (1982). ‘Black men in a white man's war: the impact of the First World War on South African blacks’. African Studies Seminar Paper, African Studies Institute, University of the Witwatersrand.|Grundlingh, Albert (1987).Fighting Their Own War: South African Blacks and the First World War. Johannesburg: Ravan Press.|SA Railways and Harbour Magazine, December 1918|Phillips, Howard (1988). ‘South Africa's Worst Demographic Disaster: The Spanish Influenza Epidemic of 1918’ in South African Historical Journal, (20), 1988.|Phillips, Howard (1987). ‘The local state and public health reform in South Africa: Bloemfontein and the consequences of the Spanish ‘flu epidemic of 1918’ in Journal of Southern African Studies, Vol 13, No. 2, pp. 210-233.|Phillips, Howard91987).‘Why Did It Happen? Religious and Lay Explanations of the Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918 in South Africa’ in Vol 12 (1987), pp. 72-92.| Mantzaris, Evangelos A. "The Indian Tobacco Workers Strike of 1920: A Socio-Historical Investigation." Journal of Natal and Zulu History 6.1 (1983).|Mantzaris, Evangelos A (1995) Labour Struggles in South Africa: The Forgotten Pages 1903-1921. Collective Resources.|Mantzaris, Evangelos Anastasios (1984). ‘Radical Community: The Yiddish Speaking Branch of the International Socialist League (ISL), 1918-1920. University of the Witwatersrand, History Workshop, 1984.|Maylam, P. ‘The Struggle for Space in Twentieth Century Durban’, pp 3-10. In Maylam and Edwards,The People’s City. (Pietermaritzburg, 1996)|O'Meara, Dan (1977). ‘The Afrikaner Broederbond 1927”“1948: Class Vanguard of Afrikaner Nationalism in Journal of Southern African Studies Vol 3, No.2 (1977), pp.156-186.|O’Meara Dan (1983).Volkskapitalisme: Class, Capital and ideology in the Development of Afrikaner Nationalism 1934 -1948. Johannesburg: Ravan Press.


Se videoen: WOI u0026 WOII. Epiloog: 1914-1991. WW1 u0026 WW2 2020 (Kan 2022).