African Americans in WW2 Essay

Submitted By Haleyr27
Words: 902
Pages: 4

World War I changed how African Americans and women were viewed in society. At the time men were shipped off to Europe to fight in the war leaving many industrial jobs open for African Americans and women to carry on the American dream and to support in the war effort. This became very beneficial for these groups, but of course it was not always completely accepted by the rest of the nation creating conflict in some cases. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People helped lead the cause for African Americans against racism and helped African Americans get job opportunities. Also, the opportunities that World War I opened for women had led to the establishment of the 19th amendment (women’s suffrage).World War I had opened the doors for African Americans and women in society and led to opportunities that created certain changes in the United States even though only some were permanent.Prior to World War I, African Americans had a difficult time working their way up through society both economically and socially. Many African Americans were still working in the South as farm hands working at low wages. Once the war had started and many of the northern industries workers were sent to war due to the draft, African Americans answered the call by invading the major northern cities to take over job opportunities. This shift to the North became known as the Great Migration. The population of African Americans in major northern cities reached to over 100 percent of their previous African American population in some cities. By moving to the north, African Americans were hoping to gain loyalty from the country by working in factories that produced war-time materials. They were also attempting to leave the cruelties of the South behind but unfortunately they ran into many of the same cruelties in the north from anti-black rioters. The NAACP had attempted to motivate African Americans to fight against the lynching and other cruelties that many were facing in the cruel northern territory. Tactics in treating African Americans was also present in the United States Army in which segregation was implemented. Many African Americans were forced to being cooks, laundrymen, and stevedores. There were many infantry units that were just African Americans which proved that the United States Army was intentionally segregating its forces.

Women were often looked down upon as being inferior in society along with African Americans. The role of women had changed once World War I had began, and they had become involved in the war effort. Document A state's 2.25 million women were engaged in war-related work, including 1.25 million in manufacturing. The war had opened numerous job opportunities of which women took full advantage of and as a result started earning higher wages. For the first time in the 20th century women were beginning to stand out in society and making their presence be known during a time in which the country needed them the most. The poster in Document A “For Every Fighter a Woman Worker,” illustrates that woman workers were able and ready to take on the job of a man who was leaving to fight in the war. The wartime efforts made by women developed a long term effect on society, and they soon achieved women’s suffrage after the war ended.

The wartime efforts of African Americans and women helped to further themselves in society. Document B shows segregation still seemed apparent in many cases through the colored only signs and the all black infantry. The country was still trying to…