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African-American History

               African-American History Film Clips

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Racial Integration in the U.S. Army (Coronet Magazine, 1960)

Inasmuch as racial integration was the social goal for a vast majority of Americans in 1960, this article made it clear that racial harmony in the U.S. Armed Forces was not simply the goal, it was the reality. Written by a journalist who visited as many as ten U.S. Military establishments throughout Europe and North Africa in order to see how President Truman's Executive Order 9981 had effected American military culture.

Read about racism in the U.S. Army of W.W. I

 

The Red Caps (Ken Magazine, 1938)

The history of the African American baggage handlers called Red Caps is a sad story in American social history. The Red Caps had been around since the 1890s and they were assigned the task of carrying luggage to and from trains and taxis; this article points out that in the Thirties, one of every three of them had a college degree:

"Red Caps did not go to college to learn how to be Red Caps. Their problem is a racial one. To the white, a job toting luggage is a poor way to eke out an existence. To the black, red capping is one of the 'big' fields open. The white man who works as a porter can do nothing else, as a rule; the Negro almost invariably can do something else but can't get it to do."

Dorie Miller was an African-American hero during the Second World War, click here if you would like to read about him.

 

Tolerance at the Polls (Pageant Magazine, 1953)

Speaking of thawing ice:

"In 1942 Roper Poll found only 42 per cent of Americans saying 'yes' to the question 'Are Negroes as intelligent as Whites and can they learn just as quickly if given education and training?' After W.W. II the number rose to 57 per cent."

 

A White Woman Looks at the Negro and the Scourge of Racism (Pageant Magazine, 1947)

Writer Margaret Halsey (1910 - 1997) was a patriotic lass who did her bit for Uncle Sam by managing a soldier's canteen in New York City during the Second World War - you should know that throughout the course of that war there were thousands of canteens throughout America where Allied soldiers, sailors airmen and Marines could enjoy a free meal and have a dance or two with the local girls. Similar to most other canteens in the country, her doors were open to all servicemen regardless of color and as a result, the same policy had to be followed by the local girls who came to dance: they, too, could not discriminate.

Her observations in this integrated environment led to believe that a national policy of racial assimilation will not be as difficult as many people at the time tended to believe.

 

The Archbishop Did His Bit (Pathfinder Magazine, 1947)

From Amazon:

A small notice from 1947 that reported on the archdiocese of St. Louis standing up in favor of racially integrating their school system - while simultaneously threatening excommunication to all members of the flock who contested the decision.

 

The Twilight of Segregated Baseball...(People Today Magazine, 1951)

An anonymous scribe at PEOPLE TODAY wrote this well-illustrated piece to mark the occasion that heralded the end of the Negro Baseball League - and the integration of major league baseball in America.

Click here to read a 1954 article about Willie Mays.

 


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