‘A Great Shadow Over Our “Civil Rights” ’: Fighting for the Government

Desmond King

in Separate and Unequal

Published in print March 1997 | ISBN: 9780198292494
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599682 | DOI:
 ‘A Great Shadow Over Our “Civil Rights” ’: Fighting for the Government

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Explores segregation in the military and resistance to its abolition ever since the founding of the country and the War of Independence to President Truman's 1947 Committee on Civil Rights and well into the 1960s. King examines original transcripts of testimony before Truman's committee and other investigations into segregation especially prior to and during the Second World War. He also looks at the policies and reports of the American Navy, Marine Corps, and the Army as well as those of Black American soldiers stationed abroad in Britain and Europe. Throughout the chapter, he traces the tensions arising from the war's premise to promote democracy in the new global community while tolerating the suppression of civil rights domestically.

Keywords: Black Americans; Committee on Civil Rights; democracy; military; Second World War; segregation; Harry S. Truman; US Army; US Marine Corps; US Navy

Chapter.  14555 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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