Essay On Discrimination In The Military

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African-American not only faced injustices in everyday society but also in the military. During the commencement of World War I, a large portion of the African-American community saw the war as a chance to demonstrate their patriotism and to take their place as equal citizen in the United States (Williams OL). Over a million African-Americans responded to the draft calls they received and an estimate of 370,000 were inducted into the army to fight during World War I, the war that would make the world safe for democracy (Williams OL). Even though the African-Americans were risking their lives to fight the war, their ultimate goal was to secure a democracy in the US in which African-Americans and whites were treated equally. However, racial tensions …show more content…
They were limited to service units, where they would have to manual labor rather than actual combat duty (Williams OL). The manual labor included digging ditches, cleaning latrines, transporting supplies, clearing debris, and burying rotten corpses (William OL). They did, however, receive basic medical care and remedial education, which was unavailable to African-Americans in the South before (Williams OL). About 40,000 African-Americans in the 92nd and 93rd combat divisions did see actual battles in France (Williams OL). The African-Americans fought with all their might, and the 93rd Division’s 369th Infantry was nicknamed the “Harlem Hellfighters” for their fierce fighting in Germany (Williams OL). Although African-Americans fought fiercely, many of the white army officials classified them as rapists and spread lies about them (Williams OL). Despite their fierce fighting abilities against the Germans and their efforts to help America help Europe during World War I, African-Americans never got the appreciation nor did they get racial equality. However, their efforts at using participation to achieve racial equality solidified their commitment to making the United Sates equal for African-American …show more content…
Philip Randolph created the March on Washington Movement to demand equality in the defense industries (Taylor). Prominent civil rights organizations also supported this March on Washington in 1941, including the NAACP and the Urban League (Taylor). The threat of the March on Washington greatly scared President Roosevelt, so he and his cabinet members drafted Executive Order 8802 (Taylor.) This executive order banned discrimination in the defense industries and in the government itself (Taylor). Roosevelt also created the Fair Employment Practices Committee, which would oversee the practices of the defense industries and make sure that African-Americans were not subject to discrimination (Taylor). As a result of these extraordinary measures, Randolph called off the march in 1941 (Taylor). The relentless efforts of the African-Americans are seen through their extreme patriotism and through their courage to go against the brutal practices of the government. Ultimately, all of these small actions towards racial equality would create the civil rights movement and lead to the protests in Washington. African-Americans were better off after World War I because they stepped-up their motivation to fight the injustices of racial discrimination and they achieved small victories that were never possible

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