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World War One - African-Americans

               African-Americans Film Clips


The 93rd Division (The Stars and Stripes, 1919)

An account of the war-time activities of the four infantry regiments that made up the U.S. Ninety-Third Division (the 369th, 370th, 371st and the 372nd). Two of these regiments were awarded the coveted Croix de Guerre.

Read an article about racial integration in the U.S. Military

 

'The Negro in the War' (New York Times, 1919)

Senegalese, Moroccans, Algerians, Americans - this six page article summarizes the participation of the various Allied units that were composed entirely of Black men throughout the four year course of W.W. I.

"'Black devils' the German soldiers called them, when, fighting like demons, they had forced the Kaiser's shock troops to retreat before them."

 

The Battle of Henry Johnson (The Stars and Stripes, 1918)

The courageous acts of white soldiers were not so easily demeaned in other STARS & STRIPES features as were the heroics performed by Henry Johnson and Needham Roberts in this piece from the Spring of 1918. For those who have, through the years, read the history of the New York 369th Regiment of Infantry this article will leave you a little sadder for the racial stereotyping and cheekiness so clearly enjoyed by the journalist and his editors.

 

American Blacks Under French Command (New York Times, 1919)

This article in a 1919 issue of THE NEW YORK TIMES that told the history of Negro infantry units during the First World War. It concerns the combat record of the American 92nd and 93rd Divisions - units that were dubbed 'Schwartz Teufel' (black devils) by the luckless Germans who stood in the opposite trenches.

"The negro soldiers of the United States arrived late on the field of battle, but in more than sufficient time to make Germany feel the strength of their arm. In all 83,000 Negroes were drafted for service in the National Army sent overseas. More than 626 of the 1,250 colored men who completed their course of training were commissioned as officers in the United States Army; nearly 100 negro physicians and surgeons received commissions as officers in the Medical Reserve Corps and a full 30,000 men constituted the 92nd Division detailed for duty in France under General Pershing. The total number of Negro combat troops was 42,000".

Click here to read an article about the African soldiers of the French Colonial Army.

 


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