How Racism And Discrimination Plagued Black Americans Serving In WWII

What Is It?

The NPR Fresh Air history news article / news audio, How Racism And Discrimination Plagued Black Americans Serving In WWII, with Dave Davies and Matthew Delmont:

Here is an excerpt from this history news article / news audio:

Though more than a million Black Americans contributed to the war effort, historian Matthew Delmont says a uniform was no protection from racism at home or abroad.

His new book is Half American.


This is FRESH AIR. I’m Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross.

When you see movies about World War II and photos of Allied campaigns against the Axis powers, the American military personnel depicted are almost entirely white.

But more than a million Black men and women served in World War II, fighting at Normandy, Iwo Jima and the Battle of the Bulge, and serving in support roles that were critical to the Allies’ success.

Our guest, historian Matthew F. Delmont, has a new book about the African American experience in World War II.

And it isn’t limited to their contributions to the war effort.

Delmont describes the discrimination Black Americans faced in the military and in civilian defense industries, and the brutality many Black servicemen suffered when stationed near white communities that resented their presence.

Delmont writes that African Americans didn’t receive many of the benefits Congress bestowed on service members in the GI Bill, but many were energized and enlightened by their experiences in the war and later became active in the civil rights movement.

Matthew Delmont is the Sherman Fairchild distinguished professor of history at Dartmouth College.

He’s the author of four previous books and has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic and other publications.

His new book is “Half American: The Epic Story Of African-Americans Fighting World War II At Home And Abroad.”

My Thoughts

This article was so difficult to find at the NPR website that I had to go back to the audio version that I found through the Google Assistant, to get the exact name of the article; so that I could type that in that name to find it.

I think that everyone should listen to or read this news article, especially every American.

I learned some things that I and most people were never taught anywhere about actual history, military history, especially.

Even most movies, TV shows, miniseries, video games, et cetera do not even mention or acknowledge most if any of these truths.

Even the few that I have seen that have mentioned some of these things, like the movies Miracle At St. Anna and Red Tails, still did not show how bad it actually was.

Reality was worse than fiction, sadly, and you know the American military / government / et cetera does not really talk about / acknowledge these things where most people will be informed about them.

It is sad when truths like this are rarely known or taught, and the few times they are, it is in small moments like this that most people will never know about or find.

The impact of the racial bias, racism, et cetera of these things still have an impact today; especially when most people do not know the truth, and even worse when the truth is denied & downplayed.

Anyway, listen to this article and / or read it.

The end,

  • John Jr

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