The "Our Soldiers" section of an advertisment for the N.A.A.C.P on pages 75-76 posted in Vol. 16, No. 2 (the June 1st, 1918 issue) of The Crisis shows the discrimination and lack of respect that many African Americans dealt with. Many African American volunteers were relegated to the "'service' battalions" or forced to be "servadors and common laborers" instead of being allowed to fight. Many faced discrimination and suspicion, with the Crisis suggesting that some were being wrongfully accused or punished very harshly. The N.A.A.C.P. shows that they're fighting more than just physically by mentioning an attempt to get a Secretary to keep a Colonel from being retired, and talking about an ongoing case involving the arrest of a regiment of African American soldiers. Just getting volunteers into the military also seems to be an issue. African Americans sometimes weren't allowed to be in the same training camp as their white peers, and were forced to make and go to their own. "Railroad discrimination" is also mentioned, showing that transportation was made a problem for African Americans as well. Overall, both a general lack of respect and discrimination made life in the military difficult for African American soldiers, but the N.A.A.C.P. retains a hopeful tone throughout - you can see that they think things are getting better.
N.A.A.C.P. Advertisement Showing War Struggles of African Americans
Submitted by Waverly Foster on Thu, 10/14/2021 - 11:45