The excitement that was 1920's Harlem can clearly be felt in this article by the journalist and Congregational minister, Rollin Lynde Hartt:
"Greatest Negro city in the world, it boasts magnificent Negro churches, luxurious Negro apartment houses, vast Negro wealth, and a Negro population of 130,000..."
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 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.
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."
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.