The Impact of the Second World War on Civil Rights.
African American Soldiers in the Second World War
Source: Lyrics to ‘Uncle Sam Says’ by Josh White
Well, airplanes flying close to land and sea,
Everybody flying but a Negro like me.
Uncle Sam says, ‘Your place is on the ground;
When I fly my airplanes, don’t want no Negro ’round.’
The same thing for the Navy when ships goes to sea,
All they got is a mess boy’s job for me.
The war years were tumultuous, but blacks sensed that out of this ferment change might come. After the bleak racism of the 1920s and the economic disaster of the 1930s, there was hope. African American newspapers conceived the “Double V” campaign—victory over both America’s enemies abroad and over Jim Crow segregation at home. In this hopeful atmosphere the NAACP increased the percentage of registered black voters in the South from 2 to 12 percent. Membership in the NAACP itself increased from 18,000 before the war to nearly 500,000 at its close. Quotation from text on this page.
BBC. Better Day Coming. Part of an excellent article tracing the development of the Civil Rights Movement in the USA.
Living History. Very good article about the way that the war changed views about Civil Rights.
VA History. Provides background information about the impact of war.
Providence. Civil Rights in World War Two.