Scraping the Barrel: African American Troops and World War I

Steven Short

in Scraping the Barrel

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780823239771
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780823239818 | DOI:
Scraping the Barrel: African American Troops and World War I

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Like American society, around World War I the US Army saw African-Americans as second-rate. There were Black units, but they were assigned to remote areas. When the Army was expanded to fight WWI, political pressures forced the Army to form new and larger Black units. Black college graduates were also recruited as officers. However, the African American units were not given particularly good training nor high-profile missions. Some units performed down to the level of training and expectations, and the Army blamed race for the poor performance rather than itself for setting the units up for failure.

Keywords: World War I; African-American; US Army; 92nd Division; 93rd Division; Conscription

Chapter.  10695 words. 

Subjects: Military History

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