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The Benefit of World War Two to African Americans

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The Benefit of World War Two to African Americans

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  • August 3, 2010
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“World War Two is not a pleasant experience. It’s anti everything I stand for. It was a frustrating and revealing time of my life.” -Lowell Steward
World War Two is a pivotal point of change in African American communities; it sowed the seeds of civil rights movement; it set the fire of rebellions and fighting for equality and freedom in blacks’ heart. The rise of black status during the war and post-war periods demonstrated World War to be a good War towards African American communities. It was a great improvement for African Americans’ in fighting for equal rights. As a result of long fighting during and after the World War Two, African Americans were freer than they were before. Though the great civil war emancipated the former slaves, African Americans didn't get the freedom they wanted. They were still suffering from severe discriminations in both North and South. Their blackness was long associated with low and inferior. Evan though President Andrew Johnson started the reconstruction, whites regarded emancipation and reconstruction as a kindness, a charity for blacks. In other words, major society at that time still treated them unfair; southern blacks were still suffering in lynching and deep segregations. The institutionalized American identity but segregated reality caused “double consciousness” among African Americans. Just as the Timuel Black’s father said: “what the hell are you goin’ to fight in Europe for? The fight is here. You should be goin’ up to Detroit.” As African Americans, they had both patriotic heart and struggling identities. When the American consciousness transcended the black side, young blacks drafted and went to fight for their country. However, the harsh reality they encountered in the war was contradicted with what they expected. In the Dempsey Travis’ interview, he described experience of two armies, one black, one white. Even Nazi prisoners were free to move around the camp, while blacks were restricted in segregated areas....