Friday, February 2, 2018

Black History Month  - Continuing in my Black History Month Celebration, themed "African Americans in Times of War"

African-American GIs of WWII: Fighting for democracy abroad and at home Until this century, the contributions of African-American soldiers in World War II barely registered in America’s collective memory of that war. The “tan soldiers,” as the black press affectionately called them, were also for the most part left out of the triumphant narrative of America’s “Greatest Generation.” They fought in the Pacific, and they were part of the victorious army that liberated Europe from Nazi rule.

Black soldiers were also part of the U.S. Army of occupation in Germany after the war. Still serving in strictly segregated units, they were sent to democratize the Germans and expunge all forms of racism. It was that experience that convinced many of these veterans to continue their struggle for equality when they returned home to the U.S. They were to become the foot soldiers of the civil rights movement – a movement that changed the face of our nation and inspired millions of repressed people across the globe.

The veterans who had been abroad electrified and energized the larger struggle to make America live up to its promise of democracy and justice. They joined the NAACP in record numbers and founded new chapters of that organization in the South, despite a wave of violence of the returning troops. The veterans of World War II and the Korean War became part of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s. Medgar Evers, Amzie Moore, Hosea Williams and Aaron Henry are some of the better-known names, but countless others helped advance the struggle. About one-third of the leaders in the civil rights movement were veterans of World War II. They fought for a better America in the streets of the South, at their workplaces in the North, as leaders in the NAACP, as plaintiffs before the Supreme Court and also within the U.S. military to make it a more inclusive institution. They were men of honor at the 1963 March on Washington, when their military training and expertise was crucial, showing solidarity and protecting others by those who opposed civil rights. "We are not makers of History, We are made by History". 

#BlackHistoryMonthHHC #Sheshereforit 

No comments: