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Afroameričani v prvi svetovni vojni
Sprva, ko se je začela prva svetovna vojna, so bile vanj vpletene ZDA. Vendar so Afroameričani vojno videli kot priložnost, da si pridobijo spoštovanje v družbi, ki je bila ločena, in so Afroameričane obravnavali kot državljane drugega razreda. Afroameričani so bili kljub zdravljenju pripravljeni služiti svojemu narodu, ko je postalo jasno, da bodo ZDA vstopile v vojno. Na žalost jih je vojska že takrat odvračala.
Aprila 1917, ko so ZDA objavile vojno Nemčiji, so načrtovalci na vojaškem ministrstvu spoznali, da njihova moč vojakov ne zadostuje za zmago Američanov. Tako je 18. maja 1917 ameriški kongres sprejel zakon o selektivni službi, ki je zahteval, da so vsi moški državljani ZDA, stari od 21 do 31 let, vpoklicani v vojsko. Pomembno je omeniti, da so se afriški Američani pred sprejetjem zakona pridružili vojski, da bi dokazali svoje domoljubje in zvestobo, da bi v državi dobili pravično obravnavo.
ZDA so imele 6 polkov afroameriških čet, ki so jih vodili beli častniki. Kasneje, leta 1869, so bili polki organizirani v 4, in sicer 9. in 10. konjenico ter 24. in 25. pehoto. Ko pa je bilo napovedano, da bodo ZDA sodelovale v prvi svetovni vojni, je vojno ministrstvo prenehalo sprejemati afroameriške prostovoljce, ko je bila kvota zapolnjena.
Ko pa je osnutek prišel na sceno, so bili Afroameričani pripravljeni. Ugotovljeno je bilo, da čeprav so Afroameričani predstavljali le 10 odstotkov prebivalstva ZDA, je bilo 13 odstotkov sprejetih črncev. Ameriška vojska je bila diskriminatorna, vendar obseg ni bil tako velik kot v drugih vejah. Afroameričani niso mogli postati marinci, mornarica in obalna straža pa je temnopoltim omogočila, da služijo le na omejenih in črnskih položajih. Toda do konca prve svetovne vojne so bili Afroameričani v konjeniških, pehotnih, signalnih, medicinskih, topniških in inženirskih enotah. Poleg tega so delali kot obveščevalni častniki, geodeti, kaplani, kemiki in vozniki tovornjakov.
Na žalost je zelo malo Afroamerikancev delalo v bojnih enotah, saj jih je večina izpadla v delovne bataljone. Štirje afriškoameriški polki niso bili razporejeni v tujino. To je privedlo do protestov Afroamerikancev, zaradi česar je vojno ministrstvo leta 1917 oblikovalo 92. in 93. divizijo kot bojne enote za Afroameričane. Z ustanovitvijo teh bojnih enot je vojno ministrstvo začelo iskati afroameriške častnike, kar je pripeljalo do ločenega, a enakega tabora za usposabljanje častnikov. Fort Des Moines je leta 1917 postal taborišče za afriškoameriške častnike in se ga je udeležilo približno 1 970 črncev. Od teh 250 je bilo že podčastnikov, preostali pa so bili civilisti. Kmalu po končanem usposabljanju in naročilu kadetov je bil tabor Des Moines zaprt. Nato so bili afriški Američani poslani na usposabljanje v Portoriko, Panamo, na Havaje in na Filipine.
Ko so afroameriške vojake poslali v Evropo, so se zelo potrudili. Odgovorni so bili za raztovarjanje ladij in nato prevoz materialov do baz, pristanišč in železniških skladišč. Med vojno so bile afroameriške delovne enote zadolžene za kopanje jarkov, pokopavanje mrtvih, odstranjevanje neeksplodiranih školjk, čiščenje bodečih žic in opreme, ki ni več delovala.
Afroameriške bojne enote niso imele vezi ali kohezije, saj so moški trenirali ločeno, kar bi pojasnilo, zakaj kampanja Meuse Argonne ni dobro delovala. Medtem ko ameriška vojska ni veliko razmišljala o afroameriških bojnih enotah, so Francozi za hrabrost in agresivnost odlikovali vojake iz 365. pehote in 350. bataljona mitraljeza.
Ko je 11. novembra 1918 prišlo do premirja, so afroameriški vojaki slavili zmago tako kot vsi drugi vojaki. Mislili so, da bodo to ob vrnitvi v svojo državo pozdravili kot junake. Vendar temu ni bilo treba. Toda to afriških Američanov ni preprečilo, da bi se vpisali v vojsko.
Prvo zavezništvo v prvi svetovni vojni je bilo Trojno zavezništvo med Nemčijo, Italijo in Avstro-Ogrskim. Potem je prišlo do zavezništva med Francozi in Rusi, vendar to ni trajalo dolgo. Zavezništvo med Francijo in Rusijo je imelo ekonomske razloge. Vendar so se Rusi po kongresu v Berlinu razjezili na Nemce, kar je privedlo do razpada zavezništva. Več ..
Black Codes in Jim Crow
Prvi koraki k uradni ločitvi so bili v obliki “ Črnih kod. ” To so bili zakoni, sprejeti na celotnem jugu, od leta 1865, ki so narekovali večino vidikov življenja črncev, vključno s tem, kje lahko delajo in živijo. Kodeksi so tudi zagotavljali, da so temnopolti ljudje po odpravi suženjstva na voljo za poceni delovno silo.
Segregacija je kmalu postala uradna politika, ki jo uveljavlja vrsta južnih zakonov. S tako imenovanimi zakoni Jim Crow (imenovani po slabšalnem izrazu za črnce) so zakonodajalci ločili vse od šol do stanovanjskih območij do javnih parkov do gledališč do bazenov do pokopališč, azilov, zaporov in stanovanjskih hiš. V poklicnih pisarnah so bile ločene čakalnice za belce in črnce, leta 1915 pa je Oklahoma postala prva država, ki je celo ločila javne telefonske govorilnice.
Šole so bile ločene, za kompenzacijo pa so bile ustvarjene ločene črne institucije, kot sta univerza Howard v Washingtonu in univerza Fisk v Nashvilleu v Tennesseeju. Inštitut Hampton v Virginiji je bil ustanovljen leta 1869 kot šola za črno mladino, vendar z belimi inštruktorji, ki učijo spretnosti, da bi črnce na službenih položajih prenesli v belce.
Časovnica zgodovine črncev: 1910–1919
Tako kot prejšnje desetletje se črni Američani še naprej borijo proti rasni krivici. Z različnimi protestnimi metodami - pisanjem uvodnikov, objavljanjem novic, literarnimi in znanstvenimi revijami ter organiziranjem mirnih protestov - začenjajo izpostavljati težave segregacije ne le ZDA, ampak tudi svetu.
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Po podatkih ameriškega popisa prebivalstva je temnopoltih Američanov skoraj 10 milijonov, kar je skoraj 11% prebivalstva Združenih držav. Približno 90% temnopoltih Američanov živi na jugu, vendar se bo veliko število začelo seliti proti severu v iskanju boljših zaposlitvenih možnosti in življenjskih pogojev.
29. september: Nacionalna urbana liga je ustanovljena v New Yorku. Namen NUL je pomagati temnopoltim Američanom pri iskanju zaposlitve in stanovanja. Kot liga opisuje na svoji spletni strani, je njeno poslanstvo:
NUL se bo povečal na 90 podružnic, ki bodo služile 300 skupnosti v 37 državah in okrožju Columbia.
November: NAACP izda prvo številko Kriza. W.E.B. Du Bois postane prvi glavni urednik mesečnika. Revija pokriva dogodke, kot je Velika selitev. Do leta 1919 se revija poveča na ocenjeno mesečno naklado 100.000.
Po vsej ZDA so sprejeti lokalni odloki za ločevanje sosesk. Baltimore, Dallas, Louisville, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Richmond, Roanoke in St. Louis vzpostavljajo take uredbe, ki ločujejo črno -belo sosesko.
5. januar: Afroameriško bratstvo Kappa Alpha Psi ustanovi 10 študentov na univerzi Indiana v Bloomingtonu v Indiani. Glede na spletno stran univerze:
17. november: Omega Psi Phi ustanavljajo na univerzi Howard "študentje Edgar A. Love, Oscar J. Cooper in Frank Coleman v pisarni svojega fakultetnega svetovalca, profesorja biologije Ernesta E. Just", piše na spletni strani univerze. "Moškost, učenost, vztrajnost in dvig" so bili sprejeti kot temeljna načela skupine na njenem prvem srečanju v Justovi pisarni v Znanstveni dvorani (zdaj znana kot Thirkield Hall), piše na spletni strani bratovščine.
Letos je linčanih več kot 60 temnopoltih Američanov, kar je del večjega nasilnega trenda v ZDA, saj je med letoma 1882 in 1968 po vsej državi skoraj 5000 linčev, predvsem temnopoltih.
12. september: STRANIŠČE. Handy v Memphisu objavlja "Memphis Blues". Znan kot "oče bluesa", Handy z objavo pesmi spremeni smer ameriške popularne glasbe, ki afroameriško ljudsko tradicijo vnese v mainstream glasbo in vpliva na poznejše velikane bluesa, kot so John Lee Hooker, BB King in Koko Taylor, ugotavlja Kongresna knjižnica.
Claude McKay izdaja dve pesniški zbirki, "Songs of Jamaica in Constab Ballads." Eden najbolj plodnih piscev renesanse Harlem, McKay v svoji karieri uporablja teme, kot so črni ponos, odtujenost in želja po asimilaciji.
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22. - 27. september: Praznujemo 50. obletnico razglasitve emancipacije. Kongresna knjižnica ima do danes postavko, imenovano "Spominki in uradni program, petdeset let svobode: 22. september 1862-22. september 1912 državni jubilej ob praznovanju petdesete obletnice objave razglasitve emancipacije, septembra 22. do 27. leta 1912, Washington, DC " Je del afriškoameriške perspektive knjižnice v zbirki redkih knjig, instituciji pa jo je podaril Daniel Murray, črnec in pomočnik knjižničarja v LOC -u, ki je z donacijo pomagal vzpostaviti tisto, kar se je imenovalo "Zbirka barvnih avtorjev". 1100 knjig in artefaktov črnoameriških pisateljev.
13. januar: Delta Sigma Theta, črna sestra, je ustanovljena na univerzi Howard. Datum, piše univerza na svoji spletni strani:
Uprava Woodrow Wilson vzpostavlja zvezno segregacijo. Po vsej ZDA so zvezna delovna okolja, kosila in sanitarije ločeni. Wilson celo vrže Williama Monroeja Trotterja iz Ovalne pisarne, ko vodja za državljanske pravice 12. novembra pride o tem vprašanju s predsednikom, ugotavlja Atlantik. Stoletje kasneje bodo študentje na univerzi Princeton, kjer je bil Wilson tudi predsednik, protestirali, kako ga je šola počastila v luči njegove rasistične zapuščine.
Afroameriški časopisi, kot so California Eagle začnite kampanje v znak protesta proti upodobitvi črncev v D.W. Griffithov "Rojstvo naroda". Zaradi uvodnikov in člankov, objavljenih v črnih časopisih, je film prepovedan v mnogih skupnostih po Združenih državah.
Gledališče Apollo je ustanovljeno v New Yorku. Benjamin Hurtig in Harry Seamon dobivata 31-letno najemnino za novo zgrajeno neoklasično gledališče, ki ga je zasnoval George Keister in ga poimenoval Hurtig in Seamonova nova burleska. Afroameričani se ne smejo udeležiti kot pokrovitelji ali nastopati v prvih letih gledališča, kot velja za večino takratnih gledališč v ZDA. Gledališče bi se zaprlo leta 1933, potem ko bo prihodnji župan New Yorka Fiorello La Guardia začel kampanjo proti burleski. Ponovno se odpre leto kasneje, leta 1934, pod novim lastništvom, kot Apollo.
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21. junij: Klavzula o dedku iz Oklahome je preklicana Guinn proti Združenim državam. V soglasnem mnenju, ki ga je podal vrhovni sodnik CJ White, sodišče razsodi, da klavzula o dedku v Oklahomi - napisana tako, da ne služi nobenemu racionalnemu namenu, razen da črnim ameriškim državljanom odreče volilno pravico - krši 15. amandma k ustave ZDA.
9. september: Carter G. Woodson ustanovi Združenje za preučevanje življenja in zgodovine črncev. Istega leta Woodson izda tudi "Izobraževanje črncev pred letom 1861". Woodson si je v življenju prizadeval za vzpostavitev področja črnoameriške zgodovine v zgodnjih 1900 -ih in prispeva številne knjige in publikacije na področje raziskav črncev.
NAACP razglaša, da je "Lift Every Voice and Sing" afroameriška državna himna. Pesem sta napisala in komponirala dva brata, James Weldon in Rosamond Johnson. Uvodne pesmi, ki so bile prvič izvedene 12. februarja 1900 v okviru praznovanja rojstnega dne predsednika Abrahama Lincolna, razglašajo:
14. november: Umrl je Booker T. Washington. Bil je ugleden učitelj črncev in avtor, ki je od rojstva zasužnjen, se je povzpel na položaj moči in vpliva, ustanovil je leta 1881 inštitut Tuskegee v Alabami in nadzoroval njegovo rast v ugledno črno univerzo.
Televizijska omrežja & ampE / Wikimedia Commons
Januarja: Woodsonov ANSLH izdaja prvo znanstveno revijo, posvečeno črnoameriški zgodovini. Publikacija se imenuje Revija za zgodovino črncev.
V marcu: Marcus Garvey ustanovi newyorško podružnico Universal Negro Improvement Association. Cilji organizacije vključujejo ustanovitev fakultet za splošno in poklicno izobraževanje, spodbujanje lastništva podjetij in spodbujanje občutka bratstva med afriško diasporo.
James Weldon Johnson postane sekretar za NAACP. Na tem mestu Johnson organizira množične demonstracije proti rasizmu in nasilju. Prav tako povečuje število članov NAACP v južnih državah, kar bi desetletja kasneje postavilo temelje gibanju za državljanske pravice.
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6. april: Ko ZDA vstopijo v prvo svetovno vojno, se oboroženim silam pridruži približno 370.000 temnopoltih Američanov. Več kot polovica jih služi na francoskem vojnem območju in več kot 1.000 temnopoltih častnikov poveljuje vojakom. Posledično francoska vlada podeli Croix de Guerre 107 črnih vojakov.
1. julij: Začne se nemiri na vzhodu St. Louis. Ko se dvodnevni nemiri končajo, je po ocenah ubitih 40 ljudi, več sto jih je ranjenih, na tisoče pa je razseljenih iz svojih domov.
28. julij: NAACP organizira tihi pohod kot odziv na linče, nemire na rasi in družbene krivice. Šteje se za prvo veliko demonstracijo državljanskih pravic v 20. stoletju, sodeluje skoraj 10.000 temnopoltih Američanov.
V avgustu: Messenger ustanovita A. Philip Randolph in Chandler Owen. Glede na spletno stran BlackPast:
Julija: Trije črnci in dva belca so ubiti v dirkah v Chesterju v Pensilvaniji. V nekaj dneh je v Philadelphiji izbruhnil nov rasni upor, v katerem so umrli trije črnci in en prebivalec belcev.
20. februar: "The Homesteader" izide v Chicagu. To je prvi film, ki ga je produciral Oscar Micheaux. Naslednjih 40 let bo Micheaux s produkcijo in režijo 24 nemih in 19 zvočnih filmov postal eden najvidnejših črnih filmskih ustvarjalcev.
V marcu: Claude A. Barnett ustanovi Associated Negro Press na južni strani Chicaga in ostaja njegov direktor pol stoletja, vse do zaprtja leta 1967. Po podatkih raziskovalnega konzorcija Black Metropolis ANP postane največja in najdlje živeča novicarska služba črncev. 150 črnih časopisov v Združenih državah Amerike - in še 100 v Afriki - z rubrikami z mnenji, pregledi knjig, filmov, zapisov in poezije, risank in fotografij.
Aprila: Brošuro "Trideset let linča v Združenih državah: 1898–1918" objavlja NAACP. Poročilo se uporablja za pozivanje zakonodajalcev, naj prekinejo družbeni, politični in gospodarski terorizem, povezan z linčem. Samo v tem letu je linčanih 83 temnopoltih - mnogi med njimi vojaki, ki se vračajo domov iz prve svetovne vojne - in Ku Klux Klan deluje v 27 državah.
Maj -oktober: V mestih po vsej ZDA izbruhne več rasnih nemirov. Johnson te rasne izgrede imenuje Rdeče poletje leta 1919. Claude McKay v odgovor objavi pesem "Če moramo umreti".
Gibanje mirovnega poslanstva je ustanovil oče Divine v Sayvilleu v New Yorku. Objekti mirovne misije, imenovani "nebesa", se bodo v prihodnjih desetletjih razširili po vsej državi. So medrasni skupni bivalni prostori, ki spodbujajo vero v desegregirano družbo.
BORBA ZA SPOŠTOVANJE: Afroameriški vojaki v prvi svetovni vojni
Ko so prebivalci ZDA opazovali, kako se je prva svetovna vojna razplamtela po Evropi, so afroameriški državljani videli priložnost, da si pridobijo spoštovanje svojih belih sosedov. Amerika je bila ločena družba in Afroameričani so v najboljšem primeru veljali za državljane drugega razreda. Kljub temu je bilo veliko afroameriških moških, ki so bili pripravljeni služiti v državni vojski, a čeprav se je pokazalo, da bodo Združene države vstopile v vojno v Evropi, so bili črnci še vedno zavrnjeni od vojaške službe.
Ko so ZDA aprila 1917 napovedale vojno Nemčiji, so načrtovalci vojnega ministrstva hitro ugotovili, da stalna vojska s 126.000 vojaki ne bo dovolj za zmago v tujini. Standardni prostovoljni sistem se je izkazal za neustreznega pri zbiranju vojske, zato je kongres 18. maja 1917 sprejel Zakon o selektivni službi, ki od vseh moških državljanov, starih od 21 do 31 let, zahteva, da se prijavijo na vpogled. Še preden je bil akt sprejet, so se afroameriški moški iz vse države vneto pridružili vojnim prizadevanjem. Na konflikt so gledali kot na priložnost, da dokažejo svojo zvestobo, domoljubje in vrednost za enako obravnavo v ZDA.
Po državljanski vojni je vojska razpustila prostovoljne "barvne" polke in ustanovila šest polkov redne vojske črnih čet z belimi častniki. Leta 1869 so bili pehotni polki reorganizirani v 24. in 25. pehotni. Obdržala sta se dva konjeniška polka, 9. in 10. Ti polki so bili postavljeni na zahodu in jugozahodu, kjer so bili močno vključeni v indijsko vojno. Med špansko-ameriško vojno so bili v službi vsi štirje polki.
Ko je izbruhnila prva svetovna vojna, so bili štirje popolnoma črni polki: 9. in 10. konjenica ter 24. in 25. pehota. Moški v teh enotah so v svojih skupnostih veljali za junake. V enem tednu po Wilsonovi razglasitvi vojne je moralo vojno ministrstvo prenehati sprejemati temnopolte prostovoljce, ker so bile kvote za Afroameričane zapolnjene.
Ko je prišlo do osnutka, pa je prišlo do preobrata v običajni diskriminatorni politiki. Osnutki so bili v celoti sestavljeni iz belih mož. Čeprav v osnutku zakonodaje ni bilo določenih posebnih določb o ločevanju, je bilo temnopoltim rečeno, naj odtrgajo en vogal svojih registracijskih kartic, da jih je mogoče zlahka prepoznati in uvesti ločeno. Namesto da bi črnce odvrnili, so osnutki naredili vse, kar je bilo v njihovi moči, da bi jih začeli uporabljati, zlasti južne. En odbor za izjeme v okrožju Georgia je fizično razrešil štiriinštirideset odstotkov belih registracijskih zavezancev in na podlagi istih zahtev izvzel le tri odstotke črnih registracijskih zavezancev. Dokaj običajno je bilo, da so južni poštni delavci namerno zadržali registrske kartice upravičenih črncev in jih aretirali, ker so se izogibali osnutku. Afroameriški moški, ki so imeli lastne kmetije in imeli družine, so bili pogosto vpoklicani pred samske zaposlene v velikih sadilcih. Čeprav predstavljajo le deset odstotkov celotnega prebivalstva Združenih držav, so temnopolti oskrbovali trinajst odstotkov napotenih.
Čeprav je bila vojska še vedno diskriminatorna, je bila v rasnih odnosih veliko bolj napredna kot druge veje vojske. Črnci niso mogli služiti v marincih in so lahko služili le omejenim in črnskim položajem v mornarici in obalni straži. Do konca prve svetovne vojne so Afroameričani služili v konjeniških, pehotnih, signalnih, zdravstvenih, inženirskih in topniških enotah ter kot kaplani, geodeti, vozniki tovornjakov, kemiki in obveščevalci.
Čeprav je tehnično upravičenih do številnih položajev v vojski, je le malo temnopoltih dobilo priložnost služiti v bojnih enotah. Večina je bila omejena na delovne bataljone. Bojni elementi ameriške vojske so bili popolnoma ločeni. Štirje polni črni polki regularne vojske niso bili uporabljeni v čezmorskih bojnih vlogah, ampak so bili razpršeni po celotnem ozemlju Američanov. Afroameriška skupnost je prišla do takega odziva, da je vojno ministrstvo leta 1917 končno ustanovilo divizije 92d in 93d, obe predvsem črni bojni enoti.
Z ustanovitvijo afroameriških enot je prišlo tudi povpraševanje po afroameriških častnikih. Vojno ministrstvo je menilo, da bodo vojaki bolj verjetno sledili moškim svoje barve in s tem zmanjšali tveganje kakršne koli vstaje. Večina voditeljev afroameriške skupnosti se je strinjala in odločeno je bilo, da bo vojska ustvarila ločen, a domnevno enak tabor za usposabljanje častnikov. Maja 1917 je Fort Des Moines odprl vrata temnopoltim pripravnikom. Približno 1.250 moških se je udeležilo tabora v Des Moinesu v Iowi.
Dvesto petdeset teh mož je bilo že podčastnikov, ostali pa so bili civilisti. Povprečen moški, ki je obiskoval tabor, je moral imeti le srednjo šolo, le dvanajst odstotkov pa jih je na klasifikacijskih testih, ki jih je podala vojska, doseglo nadpovprečno povprečje.
Do takrat vodil LTC Charles C. Ballou, osebje trdnjave z dvanajstimi diplomanti West Pointa in nekaj podčastnikov iz štirih prvotnih popolnoma črnih polkov je kandidate opravilo po strogi rutini usposabljanja. Vadili so vrtanje z orožjem in brez njega, signalizacijo, telesno vzgojo, zapomnitev organizacije polka, branje zemljevidov in usposabljanje na puški in bajonetu. Vendar, kot je po vojni opozoril Ballou, moški, ki so se usposabljali, tega dela niso jemali resno in zdelo se jim je, da šolo in kandidate štejejo za izgubo časa. Zato je vojno ministrstvo ugotovilo, da je pouk v Fort Des Moines slab in neustrezen. Slabemu usposabljanju je dodalo tudi dejstvo, da nihče ni natančno vedel, kaj lahko pričakuje v Franciji, zato je bilo težko trenirati tako natančno, kot je bilo potrebno.
15. oktobra 1917 je 639 afroameriških mož prejelo svoje naloge bodisi kot kapitan bodisi kot prvi ali podporočnik in jih dodelilo pehotni, topniški in inženirski enoti z 92d divizijo. To je bil prvi in edini razred, ki je diplomiral na Fort Des Moinesu, vojaško ministrstvo pa ga je kmalu po odhodu zaprlo. Prihodnji temnopolti kandidati so se udeležili bodisi posebnih taborišč za usposabljanje v Portoriku (iz katerih je diplomiralo 433 častnikov), na Filipinih, na Havajih in v Panami, bodisi v rednih prostorih za usposabljanje častnikov v ZDA.
Vojska ni imela pisne politike o tem, kaj storiti, če bi se integriralo taborišče za usposabljanje častnikov, zato se je lahko vsako taborišče samostojno odločilo o načinu izvedbe integracije. Nekateri so bili popolnoma ločeni, drugi pa so črno -belim dovolili, da skupaj trenirajo. Iz teh taborišč je diplomiralo več kot 700 črnih častnikov, kar je skupno 1.353.
Čeprav so Afroameričani zaslužili višje položaje v vojski, to še ne pomeni nujno, da so deležni enakega obravnavanja. Črne vpoklice so ob prihodu na usposabljanje obravnavali skrajno sovražno. Beli moški niso hoteli pozdraviti črnih častnikov, temnopolti častniki pa so bili pogosto prepovedani v častniških klubih in prostorih. Vojno ministrstvo je redko posredovalo, diskriminacijo pa so običajno spregledali ali pa včasih tudi opravičili. Ker je veliko južnih civilistov protestiralo, da črnci iz drugih držav prebivajo v bližnjih taboriščih za usposabljanje, je vojno ministrstvo določilo, da ne sme biti več kot četrtina pripravnikov v katerem koli vojaškem taborišču v ZDA Afroamerikanci.
Tudi ko so bili integrirani v precej progresivna taborišča, so bili črni vojaki pogosto obravnavani slabo in včasih dlje časa brez ustreznih oblačil. Poročali so tudi o tem, da so temnopolti prejeli stare uniforme iz državljanske vojne in so bili prisiljeni spati zunaj v šotorih namesto v toplejših, trdnejših barakah. Nekateri so bili v zimskih mesecih prisiljeni jesti zunaj, spet drugi so šli več mesecev brez preoblačenja. Vsi črni vojaki pa niso bili deležni takšnega ravnanja, saj so tisti, ki so imeli srečo trenirati na novo postavljenih okrožjih narodne vojske, živeli v udobnih vojašnicah in imeli sanitarne stranišča, toplo hrano in veliko oblačil.
Prve črne čete, poslane v tujino, so pripadale servisnim enotam. Ker je bilo delo teh enot absolutno neprecenljivo za vojna prizadevanja, so poveljniki obljubili posebne privilegije v zameno za visoke rezultate. S takšno motivacijo so vojaki pogosto delali štiriindvajset ur naravnost, raztovarjali ladje in prevažali ljudi in material v in iz različnih baz, pristanišč in železniških skladišč. Ko se je vojna nadaljevala in so vojaki odšli na bojišča, so črne delovne enote postale odgovorne za kopanje jarkov, odstranjevanje neeksplodiranih granat s polj, čiščenje invalidske opreme in bodeče žice ter pokopavanje vojakov, ki so umrli v akciji. Kljub vsemu trdemu in bistvenemu delu, ki so ga opravljali, so bili afroameriški stevedorji najslabše obravnavani od vseh črnih čet, ki so služile v prvi svetovni vojni.
Čeprav niso bile skoraj tako spoštovane kot kateri od belih vojakov, ki so sodelovali v vojnih prizadevanjih, so bile afriškoameriške bojne enote v mnogih pogledih veliko bolje od delavcev. Dva bojna oddelka –, 92d in 93d divizija – sta med vojno v veliki vojni imeli dve popolnoma različni izkušnji.
Oddelek 92d je bil ustanovljen oktobra 1917 in pod poveljstvom BG Charlesa C. Balloua, ki je organiziral prvo afriško -ameriško šolo kandidatov za častnike. Organiziran na podoben način kot druge ameriške divizije, je bil 92d sestavljen iz štirih pehotnih polkov, treh polkov poljskega topništva, ropovske minometne baterije, treh bataljonov mitraljezov, signalnega bataljona, inženirskega polka, inženirskega vlaka in različnih podporne enote.
Čeprav črni častnik v nobenem primeru ni poveljeval belemu častniku, je bila večina častnikov (do čina prvega poročnika) v enoti afroameriških. Za razliko od skoraj vseh drugih ameriških enot, ki so se usposabljale za boj, so bili vojaki iz 92d prisiljeni trenirati ločeno, medtem ko so bili v ZDA. Vojno ministrstvo je bilo v strahu pred rasnimi upori pripravljeno žrtvovati sposobnost enote za razvoj kohezije in ponosa. Pomanjkanje močne vezi med moškimi je bil eden od dejavnikov, ki so privedli do slabega delovanja enote v kampanji Meuse-Argonne.
Osebno sovraštvo med LTG Robertom Bullardom, poveljnikom ameriške druge armade, in BG Balloujem je bil še en problem. Bullard ni bil samo trden rasist, ampak je imel tudi rivalstvo z BG Balloujem. Da bi tako Ballou kot črni vojaki izgledali popolnoma nesposobni, je Bullard širil napačne informacije o uspehih in neuspehih 92d.
Tudi COL Allen J. Greer, šef Balloujevega štaba, je bil v načrtu, da bi sabotiral ugled svoje afroameriške enote in pomagal negativno obrniti zgodbe s prvih linij. Ne glede na to, kako dobro se je 92d divizija dejansko odrezala na bojišču, je bilo skoraj nemogoče premagati obrekovanje častnikov s predsodki.
Po nekaj začetnih uspehih v Loreni sredi avgusta, 20. septembra 1918, je bilo 92d ukazano, naj nadaljuje v gozd Argonne v pripravah na ofenzivo Meuse-Argonne. Divizija je prišla na prve črte tik pred prvim napadom. 368. pehotni polk je takoj prejel ukaz, da zapolni vrzel med ameriško 77. divizijo in francosko 37. divizijo. Zaradi pomanjkljive usposobljenosti Francozov, pomanjkanja opreme in nepoznavanja terena pa polk ni uspešno opravil te pomembne naloge. Neuspeh pri izpolnjevanju te ključne naloge je poškodoval bojni rekord 92d in vojaške oblasti so ga več kot trideset let pogosto uporabljale za dokazovanje neustreznosti afroameriških vojakov v boju.
Po katastrofi v Argonni je bila celotna divizija poslana na relativno mirno območje fronte v sektorju Marbache. Njihovo primarno poslanstvo je bilo kljub temu nevarno: nadlegovati sovražnika s pogostimi patruljami. Nevarnost dodelitve se je odražala v 462 žrtvah, utrpelih v prvem mesecu patruljiranja. Čeprav ameriški poveljniki niso bili zadovoljni z delovanjem enote, so bili Francozi očitno drugačnega mnenja in so zaradi agresivnosti in poguma odlikovali pripadnike 365. pehote in 350. bataljona mitraljeza.
Konec leta 1918 se je nemška vojska popolnoma umikala, zavezniški poveljnik, feldmaršal Ferdinand Foch, je hotel močno pritisniti za odločilen preboj in poraz. 92d je bilo ukazano, da 10. novembra 1918 zavzame višine vzhodno od Champneyja v Franciji. Čeprav je napad trajal le en dan, je bil hud in krvav, kar je divizijo stalo več kot 500 žrtev.
Ker se je 92d divizija trudila očistiti svoj ugled, je imela 93d divizija veliko uspešnejše izkušnje. Poveljnik BG Roy Hoffman je organiziral tudi 93. divizijo decembra 1917. Za razliko od drugih ameriških pehotnih divizij je bil 93d omejen na štiri pehotne polke, od katerih so tri sestavljale enote nacionalne garde iz New Yorka, Illinoisa, Ohia, Marylanda, Connecticut, Massachusetts, okrožje Columbia in Tennessee. Ker so ga sestavljali večinoma vpoklicani in pripadniki narodne garde, 93d ni imel nobene doslednosti v svojih izkušnjah ali sestavi. Enoti je manjkalo tudi polno število bojnih enot in podpornih elementov, zato nikoli ni dosegla polne divizijske moči. Zdi se, da ima 93d v nasprotju s stavami neverjetno dobre rezultate.
Razmere so bile v Franciji obupne in Francozi so ob izčrpani in vse manjši vojski prosili ZDA za moške. GEN John Pershing, poveljnik ameriških ekspedicijskih sil, jim je obljubil štiri ameriške polke. Odločil se je, da jim bo dal polke 93. divizije, saj so Francozi, ki so uporabljali francoske kolonialne čete iz Senegala, imeli izkušnje pri zaposlovanju črnih vojakov v boju. Prve afriško -ameriške bojne enote, ki so stopile na francoska tla, so pripadale 93. diviziji. Oborožen, organiziran in opremljen kot francoska enota, se je 93d hitro prilagodil svoji novi nalogi. Čeprav so imeli nekatere težave, na primer jezikovne, so bili črni vojaki obravnavani kot enaki.
369. pehota je bila prvi polk 93. divizije, ki je dosegel Francijo. V pristaniško mesto Brest so prispeli decembra 1917. 10. marca je po treh mesecih službovanja pri službah oskrbe 369. prejela ukaz, naj se pridruži francoski 16. diviziji v Givry en Argonne na dodatnem usposabljanju. Po treh tednih je bil polk poslan na frontne črte v regiji zahodno od gozda Argonne. Skoraj mesec dni so držali svoj položaj proti nemškim napadom, po le kratkem premoru s fronte pa je bil 369. ponovno postavljen sredi nemške ofenzive, tokrat v francoski Minacourt. 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 The Varuh 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 Varuh editor went viral. The 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
Vodnik 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. Tukaj se obrnite na avtorja.
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 skrij napis
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.
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."
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
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.
The 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 . v 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.
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.
1. svetovna vojna
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.
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