History of African Americans in Cleveland During and Immediately After WWI

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World War I marked a drastic change in African American history. The war began as a conflict between the Europeans and soon became an event with revolutionary consequences, which would have a big affect on the social, economic, and political future for the black community. The war impacted the black community of Cleveland greatly whether you were male or female, soldier or civilian. The war began in 1914 and ended in 1918, which marked one of the most dynamic periods for the African American community because of migration, racial violence, and political protest. African Americans challenged the American Government, demanded their rights as American citizens, and demanded equality both in subtle and dramatic ways. We should further our…show more content…
The weight of their existing evidence also suggests that discrimination does continue to still affect contemporary opportunities and social domains in today’s world. When World War I began African Americans citizens saw it as an opportunity to gain more respect and equal treatment. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case, when the war ended on November 11, 1918, African Americans optimistically hoped that their patriotic sacrifices would have a positive impact on race relations and expand the boundaries of civil rights, but instead when they returned home they were subjected to increased racism and discrimination. After World War I African American men weren’t the only people who had to face discrimination in Cleveland. In Cleveland: A Metropolitan Reader (pp. 192) it stated that, “The city’s African American population grew from approximately 10,000 before World War I to 34,451 people by 1920.” The greatest effect of World War 1 on African American life was the triggering of the first phase of the Great Migration, the unprecedented movement of southern blacks moving towards the north. Which led to African Americans attempting to escape the legacy of slavery and the economic injustices of the South by migrating to Northern cities such as Cleveland, in hope to led a different life. There was a rise in hostility towards blacks because the white community of Cleveland became fearful and surprised as the pace of the migration quickened and the black community was increasing

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