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Social Impact of WWII: The African American Experience IB History of the Americas.

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Presentation on theme: "Social Impact of WWII: The African American Experience IB History of the Americas."— Presentation transcript:

1 Social Impact of WWII: The African American Experience IB History of the Americas

2 Mobilizing the Economy for War Wartime production officially ended the Depression War Production Board: Established to coordinate production of war materials – Halted production of nonessential materials – Conservation of goods: Ex: Imposed national speed limit to conserve rubber

3 Mobilizing the Economy for War ctnd. Office of Price Administration: To curb wartime inflation – Set price ceilings – Established rationing of critical goods (meat, butter) National War Labor Board: To keep workers in factories – Imposed ceilings on wage increases – Required 30 days notice before strike Many unhappy workers still went on strike

4 Building up troops 15 million men and 250,000 women enlisted To keep production going, certain groups of workers eliminated from draft – Still, drain on agricultural workers led government to create bracero program with Mexico. (we will get to this later)

5 EFFECTS ON THE HOMEFRONT: IMPACT ON SOCIETY: Demographic Shifts Urbanization Urbanization Migration to West, esp. California Migration to West, esp. California – rapid industrialization of some western states (California) Population Shifts 1940-1950

6 African-Americans During War Double Victory campaign: Victory against dictators abroad, and racism at home Some victories: more job opportunities, increased migration to North and West (esp. CA) Still, much racism: African Americans paid less, discriminated in housing, in public facilities

7 The Double V Campaign V for Victory- V for equality at home African Americans started the Double V campaign They remained patriotic, yet pushed for civil rights for blacks. It was very important that the campaign show loyalty towards the war effort, since the black press had been criticized for pushing their own agenda ahead of the national agenda.

8 CORE The Congress of Racial Equality CORE was founded in 1942 by James Farmer and others – Precursor to Dr. King and movement in 1950s – Used non-violent means to force equality – Used sit-ins to force change The group's inspiration the book War Without Violence which outlined Mahatma Gandhi's step-by-step procedures for organizing people and mounting a nonviolent campaign.

9 African-American Resistance African Americans begin organizing: – 1941: A. Philip Randolph, a black labor leader, threatened to march on Washington to protest prejudice against African-American workers – In response to threat, Roosevelt banned discrimination in government agencies. – Established the Fair Employment Practices Commission to insure equal treatment for African-Americans and other minorities in war industries. – Still, results limited. When GIs returned, blacks still first to lose jobs. – All of this is an important precedent to Civil Rights movement.

10 Segregated Units

11 African Americans in the Armed Forces African-American soldiers played a significant role in World War II Nearly 700,000 served in Europe and accounted for 20% of the military forces


13 Blacks were still forced to fight in all black units during WWII. The Tuskegee Airmen were black fighter pilots who destroyed 400 enemy aircraft by the end of the war.

14 Racial Discrimination abroad… Despite the numbers, they faced racial discrimination: – Racially segregated forces – African Americans were often classified as unfit for combat and were not allowed on the front lines – Mostly given support duties – No African Americans were given the Medal of Honor during either world war

15 African Americans on the Homefront The Struggle for Justice continued on the home front as well as in the military – In the South, segregation continued Civil rights still a struggle – Unemployment was high for all segments of the black community Black migration – over 2 million migrated to the northern industrial cities Forced to live in crowded urban areas called ghettos – Concentrated neighborhoods of minorities

16 Two Americas?? Attitudes of Americans in 1942 – 60% of whites thought blacks satisfied with their condition – Most blacks disagreed » Detroit riots – 34 people killed (1943) » New York City riots (1943) – FDR did not push Civil Rights as a priority » I doubt we can bring about perfection at this time.

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