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Impact of WWII on Minorities
Transcript of Impact of WWII on Minorities
Jim Crow Laws enforced strict segregation in the south promoted racial inequality and discrimination. In the North de facto segregation limited African American opportunities as well.
African Americans could not enlist in the marines or the army air corps at all. They could only enlist in the navy as cooks and mess men.
When American industry converted to war production, many African Americans were not employed. Unemployment among African Americans was twice the amount among whites. African Americans In the war
44,000 Native Americans served in the US military
No group made a greater per capita contribution
After Pearl Harbor thousands of young Native Americans went into:
War production plants that abruptly emerged during military and industrial mobilization
1942 survey: 40 percent more Native Americans voluntarily enlisted than had been drafted
Navajo Code Talkers
Used their knowledge of language to transmit coded messages
Sheepherders and farmers were able to fashion the most ingenious and successful code in military history Native Americans Drafted into or volunteered for the U.S. armed services
Highest percentage of Congressional Medal of Honor winners
Between 250,000 and 500,000 Hispanic Americans served in the U.S. Armed Forces Mexican Americans Impact Tuskegee Institute was a training base for African American fliers; the Tuskegee airmen were rather successful in escorting bomber crews over Europe during the war.
There was a massive migration of blacks from rural areas in the south to urban areas in the north as a result of the need for labor in the defense industries. African Americans were able to secure better paid jobs in the northeast where industry was strong, and there was a need for workers.
NAACP led a drive to make sure that the selective service bill being debated in congress prohibited racial discrimination. African Americans were able to serve in the military in segregated units under white commanders. Home Front Racial tensions were high, cities like Detroit, Chicago and Harlem experienced race riots in 1943.
Due to discrimination in hiring in the wartime industry, A. Philip Randolph, the founder of the African American labor union known as the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters proposed that 100,000 blacks would parade in Washington D.C. in July unless the Roosevelt administration took action against discrimination in the defense program.
Executive Order 8802 – declared that there should be no discrimination in the employment of workers in the defense industries or government because of race, creed, color or national origin.
Fair Employment Practices Committee – Committee established to receive and investigate complaints of discrimination by employers with defense contracts, labor unions, and civilian agencies of the federal government.
African American civil rights activists created the Double V campaign, “Victory abroad over fascism and victory at home over racism” this boosted black morale during the war. Long Term Impact WWII helped African Americans on the road to gaining equal rights and altering their status in the United States, however they still faced discrimination and inequality, especially in the south.
Returning African American war veterans were faced with discrimination and were victims of lynching.
The black service members gained some respect and recognition in the war. This led to more public sentiment being anti-racism and anti-segregation
Segregation was ended for armed forces officers in 1942 and for the entire armed forces in 1948. The Home Front 40,000 Indian men and women left reservations for the first time
New vocational skills
Increased cultural sophistication/awareness
Purchase of Treasury Stamps and Bonds
Donations to the Red Cross
Pueblo Indians helped build the Naval Supply Depot in Utah
2,500 Navajos helped construct the Fort Wingate Ordnance Depot in New Mexico
Involved in territorial defense
Women on the Home front:
Took over traditional men's duties on the reservation
Volunteered for American Womens' Volunteer Service, Red Cross, and Civil Defense
Tended livestock, grew victory gardens, canned food, and sewed uniforms Long Term Impacts Native American veterans encountered varying degrees of success:
Received readjustment checks of $20 a week for 52 weeks while unemployed
Were eligible for G.I. Bill benefits
Went through purification ceremonies
Were honored in celebrations Home Front On the Home Front
Hispanic woman joined the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) and Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES)
Also worked in male labor jobs
U.S industries experienced acute labor shortages
Workers from Puerto Rico and Mexico (braceros) entered the U.S through the Bracero Program
The Bracero Program (1942- 1964)
Work was primarily in agriculture, but some were employed in various industries
More than 4.5 million Mexican nationals were legally contracted for work in the United States for employment on the railroad
Early 1945: the bracero population in the Philadelphia area numbered approximately 1,000, most of whom worked on the Pennsylvania Railroad Mexican Americans and Discrimination Zoot-Suit Riots of 1943
Conflict between U.S servicemen and young Mexican Americans
Anglo members of the armed forces were joined by civilians in a spree of attacking and beating Mexican Americans
Received its name from the type of clothing worn by Mexican Americans of the 1940’s
Sleepy Lagoon case of 1942- 1943
17 Chicano youths were convicted of charges for the death of a Mexican American boy
The judge displayed bias against Chicanos, and allowed the prosecution to bring in racial factors
Los Angeles newspapers helped create an anti-Mexican atmosphere Long Term Impact World War II as a positive
G.I Bill of Rights: gave benefits to all veterans of WWII
The Unity Leagues and the Community Service Organization: registered voters and supported Chicano candidates
Percentages of Chicanos in professional, technical, managerial, and clerical positions have increased Home Front (cont.) Philadelphia Regional Committee of Mexican War Workers (1945)
Formed by Philadelphia’s International Institute
Supported immigrants and addressed issues they facedCalled upon to mediate contract disputes Katharine Emsden's View "With the U.S.'s entrance into the war, Americans united in the largest production increase in the country's economic history. Unemployment and any remaining traces of the Great Depression virtually disappeared as the nation geared up for wartime" (World War II: On the Home Front, 14).
"Many draft boards refused to accept blacks, believing they were not capable of fighting on an equal level with whites...The Army Air Force as well as the Marines and the Coast Guard were limited to whites only" (60).
"Although devastation, death, and brutality enveloped the globe from 1939 to 1945...the income of the richest fifth of the population increased by 20% [and] the income of the lowest fifth rose by 68%" (76).