African Americans on the Home Front and Abroad

Most African Americans were freed 1965 with the passage of the 13th amendment that abolished slavery in the United States. This happened almost fifty-nine years before WWI. While African-Americans endured Jim Crow laws in the south and other forms of racism in the north, they were not truly free. In general, they faced oppression and suffered poor working conditions and low pay on the home front. During this time, there was also a great deal of tension between races, and this caused a lot of controversy on the home front.  They both fought for America, and became united in that way. There was a racial division among the army (mostly due to segregation), and this was similar to the discrimination African-Americans experienced on the home front.

I found an interesting article that dates right after the war. This article was written about a hearing in Hartford to gain more equal and civil rights for African Americans. The African American troops who arrived home from war were met were met with racial discrimination. The war marked a start of a long protest for more civil and liberal rights for African Americans. WWI played a big role in the start of the protests, in which, African American soldiers felt like they were truly equal to white people. They found out the hard way, but really pushed for equal rights.

African-Americans were a big part in the success of the war on both the home front and abroad. Abroad they added a numerous amount of man power and will power to make the world democratic instead of communist. Although they played a big role in the war effort, African Americans still were facing racial injustice and inequality.

While African Americans were facing racial inequality at this time, they shared their cultural heritage abroad, and many of the white American troops and French troops took a strong appreciations. During World War I many black troops were eager to fight but were delegated to provide support services. Only a small percentage were actually involved in combat. While they were only involved slightly, their culture and music helped the troops to pass time and enjoy themselves when war was not being fought. “The African American presence in France–helping in any capacity–often elicited overwhelming gratitude from the French.

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Photo of African American Soldiers playing instruments abroad, keeping the soldiers spirited high!

Both the French and the American troops enjoyed listening to African American bands who sometimes introduced blues and jazz.” This was uplifting for the American army, and helped them the troops gain a stronger appreciation for African American culture, and their importance in the war. Interestingly, the troops were the only ones to start recognizing African Americans as equal, but on the home front it was a much different story.

 

African Americans on the home front helped in the war effort by taking minimum wage jobs to help produce materials for the war. The African American people were scrutinized, and were used only for benefits. After the war ended, a lot of African Americans lost their jobs, and this can attribute to the Great Depression that would follow in the wake of World War I.

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Suffield Historical Society

 

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Suffield Historical Society

Source: This is a great source:

https://memory.loc.gov/ammem/aaohtml/exhibit/aopart7.html

The Suffield His

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