From Segregation to Integration: The U.S. Military during World War II

Essay by alwaysessenceUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 2007

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"Once you let the black man get upon his person the brass letters "U.S.", let him get an eagle upon his button, and a musket on his shoulder and bullets in his pockets, and there is no power in earth which can deny that he has earned the right to citizenship in the United States." Fredrick Douglass spoke these words out against the restraints held against the black man, the man of African descent, and the man in chains of bondage. The prejudices, the stereotypes and dislikes held against the Black man for their skin color had stood in the military for over a century. From the Civil War, a war for the right to freedom for the Black man, to World War II, the military has held an institutionalized racist view toward the Black men who wished to fight for this country. They wished to defend democracy in hopes that they could use the system to gain equal rights and privileges.

Black men have continued to fight to defend this great land of opportunity (www.Hartford). With struggle, they have fought to earn their right at the front lines. The Military held back these men out of stereotype and hatred for their differences. Early on they were seen as property and not good enough in any way shape or form to stand and die next to the White man. This institutionalized racism or prejudice held widely within the institution of the military, served to push the Black minority down. With the White man in the majority, the Black man had to acclimate and adapt to a "White world". They had to swallow their pride and accept the reality pushed onto them that they were not good enough.

The beginning of the Civil war in 1861, gave African American men...