The role of blacks in world war
During World War I, about 90 percent of the black American population lived in the southern states of the country. Most blacks then had to work for low wages. By introducing the Jim Crowe Act, white rulers deprived them of many social rights.
The life of blacks became miserable due to white domination. But World War I in 1914 completely changed American public life and culture. At the beginning of the war, America did not want to get involved in the war.
Neither whites nor blacks were interested in war at that time. They had the attitude that the troubles of Europe should remain in Europe. But on April 2, 1918, then-US President Woodrow Wilson called on Congress to declare war. Wilson's theory was that the world must be established as safe for democracy. African Americans welcome Wilson's doctrine. They thought it would be a good time to assert their rights. Chad Williams, an associate professor in the Department of African Studies at Brandeis University, thinks World War I was significant enough to secure the freedom of blacks and the rights of modern African Americans.
At the beginning of the war, the American economy suffered a severe setback. Due to the war, workers from Europe stopped coming to America. In 1915, cotton production in Georgia, USA, declined drastically due to an attack by an insect called Boulevard. As a result, thousands of African Americans are preparing to leave the southern part of the country and move to the northern states. This is known as the 'Great Migration' in American history. About seven million African Americans later settled in the northern part of the country. By the end of the 1920's, the number of blacks in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Detroit doubled. But here too the blacks did not open their foreheads. They had to face the same situation in the new place as they were discriminated against in the south. Whites everywhere began to judge blacks individually in the workplace, in housing. In some cases, riots broke out between whites and blacks. The East St. Louis Riot of 1917 was one such black-and-white communal riot.
In the First World War, whites and blacks were supposed to fight side by side, but from the beginning there was danger. There was nothing but hatred for blacks in the blood of whites. From the very beginning, blacks were compulsorily selected for war at a higher rate than whites. The selectors were all white.
A 1918 survey found that 52 percent of blacks and 32 percent of whites were selected for war. And black army units were kept separate from white army units. Blacks were not sent to the battlefield but were assigned to small jobs in the camp. Such as porters, drivers, evacuation workers etc. But blacks play a key role in the American war. While African American officers were allowed to lead only black teams, white officers led both black and white teams. There is no evidence that any black officer then led a white regiment or troop. Even white low-ranking soldiers refused to pay due respect or salute to high-ranking black officers.
Black officers were advised not to expect a salute from a white soldier. Even black officers did not have access to whites' clubs or quarters. Not only that, many black soldiers could not find a place to sleep in the barracks at night. Thus the black warriors were exploited by the whites.
Among the 200 inhabitants of Harlem, New York, a regiment called the Harlem Helpfighters was made up of African American soldiers, but most of the commanding officers were white. They were trained at Camp Whitman in New York and sent to France as members of the Allies. After re-training in France, from 16 July to 6 August 1917, the regiment joined forces with the 181st Division of France to form a formidable resistance against German invasion. Later, 160 black fighters were awarded the French War Cross Medal.
On 11 November 1918, the Allies and the Axis Powers jointly declared a ceasefire. Black soldiers who participated in the First World War also participated in the Second World War. In 1948, Harry S. Truman signed an executive order to unify the military by eliminating racial discrimination. From then on, African Americans gradually began to receive their full dignity.
Although white society recognizes blacks as having equal status in military life, it still maintains discriminatory policies and attitudes in socio-economic life. People could not be given full dignity as human beings. Only in a communist society can all the people of the world get equality in political, economic and cultural life as human beings. A human society of true equality and friendship can come through the establishment of a self-controlled, self-governing anarcho-syndicalist society.