African American Soldiers and Civilians

665 Words3 Pages
Describe the involvement and participation of African American civilians and soldiers in the Great War (WWI), 1917-1918.
Initially when the war started, United States remained reluctant. Black citizens saw a chance to be successful in the approval of their white neighbors. America was a divided society and Blacks were well thought-out at best as second class citizens. Yet regardless of that, there were many Black people prepared to work in the nation’s military, but even as it became obvious that United States were to enter the war in Europe, Black Americans were still being ignored from working in the Armed Forces. United States entered the war in April 1917. More than 4.6 million people both men and women served their forces, National Guard units as well as draft units.
They were faced by many challenges. For instance, over 50000 people were killed in the action while more than 60000 deaths came as a result of diseases and other causes. Many were also injured during the war. Among the states which supplied most soldiers were New York, Ohio, Illinois and Pennsylvania.
While still biased, the Army was more progressive in race affairs than the other branches of the military. Blacks could only serve partial and tedious positions in the Navy and the Coast Guard. Although technically eligible for many positions in the Army, very few Blacks got the chance to work in battle units. When it came to the outline, however, there was a turnaround in the common discriminatory procedure.
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