10 Things About the Mistreatment of Black Soldiers During World War II You May Not Know

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via the Farm Security Administration
via the Farm Security Administration

Black Newspapers’ Coverage of Black Soldiers’ Mistreatment Considered War Crime

During World War II, the Black media was unable to publicly speak about the horrendous acts that were being inflicted upon Black soldiers at the time. Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr., the Alphonse Fletcher University professor and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, declares that Black newspapers could “either give in to the government’s propaganda about racial harmony at home for the sake of the war effort and national unity or speak the truth and be smeared as co-conspirators with the enemy.” However, this did not stop the Black press; their coverage of the armed forces’ racial inequalities help to bring about better conditions for Black soldiers.

Black WWII Soldiers

Jim Crow Still Applied Overseas

Gates conveys that, “despite the gains of the abolition of slavery and the three Reconstruction amendments to the Constitution, Jim Crow segregation had pervaded every aspect of American society since the 1890s. And the military was no exception.” Black soldiers were “relegated to segregated divisions” due to the fact that “the military was as segregated as the Deep South.”

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