WWII and the Lives of African Americans
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The paper relates that World War II was all about defeating fascism in Europe and the imperial militarism of Japan in the Pacific, but African Americans and other racial minorities had another war; the battle of racism in the United States. The paper goes on to discuss how WWII necessitated that racial minorities be recruited to the Army and hired to work in war-related production facilities across the nation, and this allowed them to elevate their social status and become more determined to challenge institutional racism. The paper also notes that that the horrors of Nazism forced many Americans to confront racism at home and challenge the constant prejudice of minorities. The paper clearly shows how the war offered African Americans and other racial minorities opportunities for upward social mobility and tools to challenge the institutionalized racism in America.
From the Paper:"In total fifteen million Americans participated in World War II, and around a million of them were African Americans. Although the Defense Department was reluctant to hire black soldiers, the war necessitated that all Americans contribute to war efforts. But the blacks were not treated with equality while in service. They still served in segregated units, led by white officers and were mostly relegated to low-level jobs. They also lacked the same rights enjoyed by white Americans. The unjust treatment of African Americans was characterized by many events during World War II. For example, in 1944, at Seattle's Fort Lawton, 28 African Americans were convicted of inciting a riot, including two who were accused of manslaughter, following an incident involving Italian prisoners of war who were allegedly treated better than African American servicemen and the jealousy on the latter's part led to riots and the murder of one Italian. But the whole conviction, as is acknowledged by the Army now, was a sham, riddled with inconsistencies and racial prejudice. It took sixty three years for justice to prevail. In 2007, the Army officially apologized for the wrongful treatment of African Americans in the POW case."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Boyer, Paul C. et al., The Enduring Vision: History of the American People, Volume 2, 7th edition. Houghton Mifflin, 2010.
- Marshall, Rory. "Army: Black Soldiers Wronged in POW Case," Associated Press, October 27, 2007, available at http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-10-27-4100015042_x.htm (Accessed: March 19, 2011).
- Modell, John, Marc Goulden, and Sigurdur Magnusson, "World War II in the Lives of Black Americans: Some Findings and Interpretation." The Journal of American History 76, No. 3 (Dec., 1989), 838-848.
Cite this Term Paper:
WWII and the Lives of African Americans (2013, May 20) Retrieved May 19, 2022, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/wwii-and-the-lives-of-african-americans-153308/
"WWII and the Lives of African Americans" 20 May 2013. Web. 19 May. 2022. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/wwii-and-the-lives-of-african-americans-153308/>