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World War One - African-Americans

               African-Americans Film Clips


American Negros in the Great War (Leslie's Weekly, 1920)

This is a World War I article listing many of the patriotic commitments that the African-American community devoted to the 1917 - 1918 war efforts:

"The war has transformed the American Negro into the Negro American. Because he has been doing big things for his country his sense of national unity grown; his citizenship became a living reality."

"They have contributed 300,000 of their young men to the American Army. Of these 1,000 are commissioned officers of the line...One entire regiment was decorated for bravery and several individual soldiers have been cited for deeds of great valor."

 

The Lynching of African-Americans in France (New York Times, 1921)

This disturbing article from 1921 reported on a series of lynchings that took place between the years 1917 through 1919 by U.S. Army personnel serving in France during the First World War. The journalist quoted witness after witness who appeared before the Senate Committee regarding the lynchings they had seen:

"Altogether...I saw ten Negroes and two white men hanged at Is-Sur-Tille. Twenty-eight other members of my command also witnessed these hangings and if necessary, I can produce them."

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

 

An Abbreviated War Record of the 92nd Division (The Stars and Stripes, 1919)

An illustration of the insignia patch and a brief account of the origins, deployments and war-time activities of the U.S. Army's Ninety-Second Infantry Division during World War One. It is highly likely that the attached description of the 92nd's service record had been rewritten to suit the personal taste's of the paper's Jim Crow editors. Sadly, there are other examples of such biased editing at THE STARS and STRIPES.

 

Assorted Home-Front News (The Crises, 1919)

Attached is a collection of news items that were of interest to the African-American community during World War One. This one-page article illustrates how united and strong the African-American war effort was during the Great War.

 

November 11, 1918: Paris, France (The American Legion Weekly, 1920)

Much has been written on the unique relationship that has existed between African-Americans and the city of Paris. The following is one of those anecdotes that illustrates that cultural fellowship, a fellowship that began with the First World War. Quite predictability, it is written in the disrespectful manner that was all-too common of that era.

 

''Patriotism'' (The Crisis, 1918)

An interesting editorial from World War I in which the writer (possibly W.E.B. Duboise) expressed that an African-American's sense of patriotism in that era was based on the nation's potential to be judicious and fair.

The article is a fine example illustrating the influence that George Creel and his Committee on Public Information had strong-arming the American magazine editors during the period of World War One.

 


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