World War II and Black Veterans

332 words | 2 page(s)

In many regards, race relations did not change during World War II, with those of African American descent being kept in the more menial tasks and jobs, and not being allowed greater responsibility. Race relations did not change in large part following World War II, with many of the veterans not being acknowledged for their service until decades later; those that served with African Americans, on the other hand, were more willing to accept and acknowledge the contributions of each other, sharing a camaraderie as a result of the time spent in the service during the war. Race riots did occur in Harlem during 1943, but as World War II became a more pressing concern, many individuals in Harlem were able to find work either in the military or in the shipyards, working to decrease the tensions in the area as a result of those who left for service or those who were spending long hours working to increase the war efforts.

In watching the film “Miracle at St. Anna,” when looking at information pertaining to African American history, I learned the opinions of the African American population during World War II in regards to what was seen by 92nd division overseas, and the injustice felt at seeing those less educated than they on the Nazi side getting the better of everything, better than that which they received. Spike Lee’s premise, or intent, throughout the duration of the talk was to work to provide a different perspective of history, working to convey information about World War II from the perspective of an African American family, child, and child whose family was within the war. The video is different in theme and content than other mediums that delve into the same subject matter because it looks at the topic of African American veterans from the perspective of an African American as opposed to reviewing the history of World War II through the typical perspective, that of the Caucasian veteran, or the Caucasian historian.

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