African-Americans in the Military
Examines the disappointment of black soldiers in the society they returned home to after American wars, from the 18th through to the 20th centuries.
# 25902 | 2,608 words | 5 sources | APA | 2002 |
Published on May 03, 2003 in History (U.S. World Wars) , History (U.S. Civil War 1860-1865) , History (U.S. Birth of the Nation 1750-1800) , African-American Studies (General)
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The great tragedy for many blacks who have served the United States in the military is not what happened to them on the battlefield, but what happened to them when they returned from battle. The paper shows that what was terrible for many blacks was that one of the primary reasons that they had gone to war " from the 18th through the 20th centuries " was to improve their lives. They looked around at the racist society that had denied them opportunities all of their lives and they thought that just maybe, if they could fight for their country, then finally people would realize that blacks were real Americans too and deserved all the accolades and elements of the American Dream. The fact that this was not so, that blacks returned to find the society that had treated them so badly to be essentially unchanged, is explored in this paper, which examines the role of blacks in the U.S. armed forces from Revolutionary times through the wars of the 20th century, looking especially at both their chances for advancement in the military and what they came home to when they left the services.
From the Paper:"Nearly every schoolchild growing up in America knows the story of Crispus Attucks, the leader of a group of American colonists who was killed when the group was fired upon by British troops in the 1770 event known as the Boston Massacre. Attucks was participating in a demonstration for greater rights that ended by harassing a squad of British soldiers; the soldiers responded by firing into the crowd. Attucks was the first man killed that day and by the end of the encounter four other Americans also died in the incident. Attucks was thus one of the first men to die for the cause of American nationhood and the first black man to die in the Revolutionary War. The result of his death has been that he has been held up for generations to admire as a man not only courageous enough to die in a fight for the long-dead idea of democracy and republican rule but a man forgiving enough to die for a country that considered his complexion sufficient reason to enslave him."
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