Author Archives: freemmyles

Economic Landscape for African Americans during WWI

For the history of African Americans in the United States, WWI was transformative on many landscapes which include the social, economic, and political future for African American citizens. As I researched about the roar of the early 1900’s, I learned that, “African Americans contested the boundaries of American democracy, demanded their rights as American citizens, and asserted their very humanity in ways both subtle and dramatic” (African Americans and WWI, 2004). African Americans moved towards the North from the oppressive southern states seeking a better life and seeking to become equal contributors to the United States economy. The harsh reality though of all of this progressive action, was that these African American were going to face new forms of segregation within the Northern States.

At the turn of the 20th century, between the years 1915 and 1920, “roughly 500,000 black southerners packed their bags and headed to the North, fundamentally transforming the social, cultural, and political landscape of cities such as Chicago, New York, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Detroit” (African Americans and WWI, 2004). This “Great Migration” would reshape the United States of America as entirely.

In addition to the decision moving North, I discovered that when African Americans began to travel North in search of a new life, they often encountered difficulty traveling. “Some African American travelers paid equal fares to whites, while others sometimes paid more expensive fares than whites for similar travel. Clerks at ticket counters in the South frequently ridiculed and yelled at African American passengers… and some police officials in small Southern town detained travelers without provocation” (African American Connecticut Explored, 241).

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In this 1920 U.S. National Census, we find a neighborhood of African Americans located in Suffield, CT during WWI

Although the African Americans were in search of a better life than they had in the South, they faced social, economic, and political challenges when they arrived. These challenges that African Americans faced included living in poverty and debt, poor discriminating jobs with bad working conditions, and the most dangerous of all, they faced harsh hostility from the white population. Since these discriminating actions negatively affected the African Americans, they began to band together and live in close proximity to each other which directly led to the development of “enclaves”. These “enclaves” can be found in Suffield in 1920, as pictured above in a U.S. National Census.

African NEWMERICAN job thing english

This is a photo of the poor working conditions that African Americans had during their economic appearance in the north during WWI.                                                                                        129044-004-878FAD76.jpg

All in all, as the African American population began to transition economically in the United States both during and after the war, this large mass of people will contribute to the changing American society, as well as the American economic landscape forever.



– Work Cited –

  • This article helped me understand how the war played a big part in the African American movement North, and the many aspects of oppression they faced. 

  • This article shows us how the African American culture took off in the US after the First World War.

  • This article helps to understand the history of the African American economy and how it changed after WWI.

Normen, Elizabeth J. African american connecticut explored. Wesleyan Univ Press, 2016.

  • This book connects the African American economy to actual instances within Connecticut.

American Made Folk Hero

While researching the topic of propaganda during WWI, I came across Carl Sandberg. He was born in 1887 to two Swedish parents, and grew up as a working-class citizen. Due to his background as a working-class citizen, this is what led him to start contributing to the war propaganda.

Sandberg was a regular contributor of news and a poet in several liberal and radical magazines, as well as working for the Chicago Daily News as a reporter who focused primarily on the working-class citizens. He appealed so greatly the public, because he considered himself a communist and he wrote in the language of the working class.

Carl Sandburg as an opposer to the war, states;

‘“I am with all the rebels everywhere. Against all those who are satisfied,’ Sandburg once wrote. As far as he was concerned, there was a straight line from the early builders of the American nation, to the 20th century radicals, socialists, and unionists with whom the poet associated” (Peoples Poet 2015)

As Sandburg’s began to create music, he expressed his stance upon the war and all of the happenings in the US. Sandberg was famous in Connecticut though, and because he was highly regarded statewide, he was invited several different occasions to Connecticut to perform. Sandburg’s “collected folk songs and performances are treasures from America’s grassroots. His poetry offers a radical critique of economic exploitation” (“The Peoples Poet” 2015).

Carl Sandburg’s multitude of pieces of work are considered a form of propaganda, because they identify the war and it is used to persuade the public to focus on the workers who were a part of the war effort.


  • This article expresses Carl Sandburg’s impact on the US during the war, and tells us about his ties to Connecticut


  • This article about Carl Sandburg tells us who Carl Sandberg is and highlights his true intentions with his work.


  • This website tells us in greater detail, all of the things Carl Sandburg has done or accomplished over his lifetime. It specifically tells us who Carl Sandberg is and highlights his true intentions with his work.

Project Based Learning Fundamentals

Watch “Project Based Learning: Explained” by Zoe McClay-

If you do not understand the basis of project based learning, this short video will help explain to you the successful way of learning through a project based classroom environment.


(Video 0:24) Most adults live in a world of what? What are 3 examples of problems which adults face?

(Video 1:17) Claire’s success with her challenge to create an all-natural soap was established with what 3 processes? Where were these processes not usually taught?

(Video 2:02) What was one project throughout your past school careers (whether it was elementary school, high school, or even summer school, doesn’t matter) where you were a part of an assignment where you used a project-based learning style?

(Video 2:35) After Mr. Simmons divided his students into groups, what were the 5 fundamentals the students used to do their project?

After watching this video, how does this project based learning compare to projects and assignments you are currently being completing in a typical classroom? Which learning process do you personally thin is better? Should the education process switch to a project based classroom?

Anti-German Sentiment in Connecticut during WWI

As my research of WWI and the Connecticut home front develops, I have begun to research the anti-German sentiments in throughout Connecticut culture and newspapers. During the first world war, as the American soldiers were fighting overseas, there was still an America back home that was supporting these troops. For people to publish anti-German propaganda in support of the troops was not an obsolete practice, in fact, for communities who felt the forceof the war this was a way for them to be a part of all the action. To expand on the topic of anti-German propaganda the people of the US also looked to get rid of all German books or anything pro-German. In addition to the propaganda used against the Germans, the American politics began to make comments that signaled shift in the public opinion against Germany. All-in-all, even though the American soldiers charged deep into Europe to fight against the Germans, the effects of the war, such as propaganda, were even felt on our home soil.

See the provided links below for more information about this topic.

  • This article discusses the topic of anti-German mentality through literature. Pro-German books during WWI, through scrutiny by the council of defense, are viewed as unpatriotic and are pulled from American shelves immediately.

  • This article discusses the anti-German propaganda in the US, which was ultimately promoted by the government, and how it affected German-Americans. The article talks about how German-Americans were demonized in the US with the rise of American support for the war.