African-American History ~ World War Two


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  • (copyleft 2007) Chad David Cover.Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 1.0 Generic. See
  • Langston Hughes: “Jim Crow Army, / And Navy, too -- / Is Jim Crow Freedom the best / I can expect from you?” “You tell me that Hitler is a mighty bad man / He must have took lessons from the Ku Klux Klan.”
  • Job Discrimination:Housing:Mobile: 15,000 new housing units, but only 1,000 units for blacks in a city with 30,000 new black workers.Only 55 beds open to blacks in the city hospitals.Hate Strikes5/23/43: Race Riot at Alabama Dry Dock over FEPC directive ordering the company to allow blacks into skilled jobs.12 black weldersWhite mob began attacking black workers as they got off duty, yelling “No nigger is going to join iron in this yard.”Similar race riots in 1943: Springfield, MA; Port Arthur, TX; Detroit (34 killed, 200 wounded), Newark, NJ, Hubbard, OHResult: Segregated dry docks & ferries. 4 separate shipways where blacks could every job . . . but foreman. In the other
  • Flew around 15000 sorties in 1500 missions. Lost only one bomber, confirmed. (Some say as high as 25 to 26). 99th Fighter Group (North Africa, 2 Distinguished Unit Citations) -> 332nd Fighter Group, the Redtails (Italy, bombing runs over Eastern Europe, 1 Distinguished Unit Citations)In all, 992 pilots were trained in Tuskegee from 1940 to 1946; about 445 deployed overseas, and 150 Airmen lost their lives in training or combat.The Tuskegee Airmen were awarded several Silver Stars, 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 8 Purple Hearts, 14 Bronze Stars and 744 Air Medals.
  • A black-run ship . . . except for the commander.
  • Black soldiers joked that their headstones would read: “Here lies a black man killed fighting a yellow man for the protection of the white man.”
  • Osceola McKaine: “We are living in the midst of perhaps the greatest revolution within human experience. Nothing, no nation, will be as it was before when the peace comes. . . . There is no such thing as the status quo.”“To Secure These Rights”: Truman’s special commission on civil rights. Called for federal anti-lynching law; equal opportunity in housing, education & employment; end to poll tax; desegregation of armed forces.
  • African-American History ~ World War Two

    1. 1. World War Two<br />
    2. 2. The Four Freedoms<br />Franklin Roosevelt sold World War II as a war on behalf of democracy. It was to be a war to guarantee the “Four Freedoms.”<br />Many African Americans supported the concept, if the freedoms applied within the U.S., too.<br />
    3. 3. Military: Same Old Story<br />Once again, African-Americans had to “fight for the right to fight.<br /><ul><li>Military was segregated.
    4. 4. Discrimination common within the military.
    5. 5. Marines barred African-Americans at first.
    6. 6. Navy enlisted blacks in support positions.
    7. 7. Army enlisted blacks, but only in support & logistical positions.
    8. 8. Civilian violence toward black servicemen.
    9. 9. “We were really just stevedores & servants,” recalled one African-American soldier.</li></li></ul><li>Civilian Jobs<br /><ul><li>Job discrimination common in defense jobs.“Whites-only” hiring policies.
    10. 10. Housing segregation in cities.
    11. 11. White hate strikes & violence against black co-workers.</li></li></ul><li>“Double Vee” Campaign<br />Spearheaded by the NAACP, BSCP & the Pittsburgh Courier, called for victory against fascism abroad & at home.Called on Roosevelt to take action against:<br /><ul><li> Segregation within the military
    12. 12. Discrimination by defense contractors
    13. 13. 100,000-man MOWM, planned for Nov. 1941.
    14. 14. Executive Order 8802 issued prior to the march, creating FEPC</li></li></ul><li>Blacks in Military Service<br />African-American community was better organized during WWII than WWI. <br /><ul><li>500,000 African-Americans serve in the war.
    15. 15. The draft was conducted more fairly.
    16. 16. Serve in segregated units & train in segregated camps
    17. 17. Blacks eventually accepted into general service in Navy & Marines (1942).
    18. 18. Navy commissions black officers in 1944.
    19. 19. Army opened officer training schools for blacks.
    20. 20. Army Air Corps creates a black flight school</li></li></ul><li>Tuskegee Airmen<br />
    21. 21. USS Mason<br />A black-run ship . . . except for the commander!<br />
    22. 22. Black Protest<br /><ul><li>Double Vee Campaign
    23. 23. Zoot Suit Riots
    24. 24. Nation of Islam</li></li></ul><li>Black Civil Rights in the 1940s<br />Smith v. Allwright (1944)<br />C.O.R.E. founded (1944)<br />S.C. Progressive Democratic Party (1944)<br />Shelley v. Kraemer (1948)<br />Executive Order 9981<br />U.N. Declaration of Universal Human Rights<br />