African American Struggles during WWI

During World War I, African Americans were invested in fighting the war to gain the right to vote, however, their efforts led to a rise in racism concerning the recognition of their efforts as soldiers. In Vol. 16 No. 2 of The Crisis, from June 1918, an article called "The Looking Glass" contains a story under the subheading "The Awakening South," which provides a clear example of Americans' failure to recognize African American efforts for the war. In Albany, Georgia, some women decided to create "a service flag bearing a star for every white Albanian who has entered the military," not including the African American soldiers as well (69). The women are discrediting the African American men who enlisted because they do not want to recognize the effort that they have contributed to fighting. African Americans are more "patriotic" than ever at this point, and by devaluing them by not recognizing their worth as soldiers, the white ladies in Albany are displaying how racist the South is.

Under another subheading of "The Looking Glass," "The Negro Soldier," the author claims that African Americans "responded more universally and cheerfully" to enlisting than "the white men," confirming the patriotism that they felt during the war (68). They saw the war as a fight for equality, explaining why they were so eager to fight it; however, the white Americans disregarded everything that the African Americans worked for. Even though the African American community at the time wanted to fight for their equality, they would not receive it until decades later.