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The Role of Women and African Americans in WWI

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Erika Magallanes

on 29 September 2013

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Transcript of The Role of Women and African Americans in WWI

The Role of Women and African Americans in WWI
IB 20th Century Topics

Opportunities for African-Americans in WW1
“Great Migration.” 1916 – 1919  500,000
War industries work.
Enlistment in segregated units.

WW I: The Great Migration
Demographics…Great Migration of Blacks from South to the Northern US (Race Riots 1917-19)
The Great Migration
The war opened thousands of industrial jobs to black laborer
500,000 migrated north
increased presence and demands for change  Dozens of blacks were killed during a 1917 riot in East St. Louis, Illinois

African Americans and WWI
Black leaders saw the war as an opportunity for advancement
World War I did not bring significant gains
navy barred blacks, army segregated
Also riots and lynching increased in the South
Violence led to a silent march of protest on NY 5th Ave – “Mr. President, Why Not Make America Safe for Democracy?”
Women’s Suffrage
America’s entry into the war threatened to tear apart the suffrage movement
Jeannette Rankin opposed war first woman member of congress
women in general supported the war
The National Woman’s Party was militantly fighting for suffrage
Alice Paul compared Wilson to the Kaiser denying democracy, chained herself to white house fence, force fed in prison

Chicago Race Riot, 1919
Because of industrial jobs available in WWI, the African-American population in Chicago increased from 44,000 to 109,000, for a total of 148 percent during 1916-1919.
The postwar period found tensions rising in numerous cities where populations were increasing rapidly
The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 was a major racial conflict that began in Chicago, Illinois on July 27, 1919 and ended on August 3.
During the riot, dozens died and hundreds were injured.
It is considered the worst of the approximately 25 riots during the Red Summer of 1919, so named because of the violence and fatalities across the nation
“Rescuing a Negro During the Race Riots in Chicago”, 1919
WWI: African Americans
Many were forced to work behind the lines jobs
The 369th Harlem Hellfighters fought with the French
The 369th Infantry Regiment was known for being the first African American Regiment during WWI
During the war the 369th's regimental band (under the direction of James Reese) became famous throughout Europe, being the first to introduce the until-then unknown music called jazz to British, French and other audiences, and starting a worldwide demand for it
US Troops were segregated black and white

True Sons of Freedom
Women’s Service in WWI
Held Home Front job
RR Workers, cooks, bricklayers, dock workers, coal miners, clerks, teachers, and helped to sell liberty bonds
Warfront Jobs of Women
Red Cross Nurses
Radio operators
Ambulance drivers

YWCA – The Blue Triangle
Munitions Work
Women Used In Recruitment
The Red Cross - Greatest Mother in the World
WW I: Suffrage-The Women’s Movement…
National American Women Suffrage Association (NAWSA) Carrie Chapman Catt
National Women’s Party –Alice Paul
Women’s Suffrage
The combined efforts of women during the war won them suffrage –Wilson finally gave in
January 1918 Wilson withdrew his opposition to female suffrage amendment
Took until Aug 1920 to have the amendment ratified
72 years after goal of women’s suffrage declared at Seneca Falls in 1848

New faces in the Workforce
Mexicans crossed the borders for industrial jobs in southwestern cities (100,000)
Women joined workforce in record numbers (one million)
Most people believed this would be a temporary change
A unit of the Women's Defense League drills in its camp at Washington, D.C. Although some in the women's suffrage movement refused to support the war effort until women were granted the right to vote, other suffragists took a role in mobilizing women into the war effort and used women's support as an argument in favor of their enfranchisement.

World War I
Just as women used their participation in the war effort to fight for their rights, African Americans also hoped to use the war to improve their status. Leaders like W. E. B. Du Bois and the NAACP officials protested strongly when initial mobilization plans did not include African Americans.

Women filled factory jobs
Women’s war effort helped bring about passage of the 19th Amendment after the war giving women the right to vote.
African Americans
Black soldiers still served in segregated units.
In the “Great Migration” thousands of African Americans moved to the North to work in factories.
How did the war affect the U.S.?
Full transcript