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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

Browse Items (27 total)

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"True Sons of Freedom," by Charles Gustrine, is a poster depicting African-American soldiers fighting against the German army. Three hundred and fifty thousand African Americans participated in the segregated U.S. army during WWI, but they were often…

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African Americans were faced with conflicting loyalties during the Revolutionary War, with some joining the British side in hopes of escaping from slavery, while many others remained loyal to the Patriot cause. While it's difficult to know the exact…

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Joe Louis, the famous heavyweight boxing champion, served in the Army from 1940 to 1942, appearing in exhibition matches as well as this recruitment poster. A few years earlier, Louis had defeated German heavyweight Max Schmeling, a symbol of the…

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Over one million black men and women served in the military during the second World War. Artist William Henry Johnson's images of the war often pictured soldiers in training camps, but this piece shows a family separating as a soldier departs for the…

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This stereograph (an early form of the 3-D image) showing three Union soldiers with "contraband" was produced and sold by the E. & H. T. Anthony & Co. company of New York sometime between 1861 and 1865. "Contraband" was the term used to…

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This Civil War photograph shows Private Hubbard Pryor, an escaped slave from Georgia, before and after his enlistment in the 44th U.S. Colored Troops, a Union Army regiment of African-American soldiers. Congress passed legislation allowing some…

In this 1863 editorial, Frederick Douglass calls all able-bodied African Americans to take up arms in defense of the Union. He encourages them to travel to Boston in order to join one of the first regiments of black soldiers forming there.

This anonymous letter, to the Wisconsin Weekly Advocate by a black soldier, probably from the 24th or 25th infantry, denounces the behavior of Americans in the Philippines following its acquisition from the Spanish. He states that having seen the…

This letter was written by an African-American soldier of the Massachusetts 55th Regiment in the midst of a heated battle to take the Confederate fortifications on Folly Island, South Carolina. It conveys the determination of black soldiers in the…

This article reports Lieutenant F.W. Alstaetter's interactions with David Fagin while held captive. David Fagin, an African-American soldier who had deserted from the 24th Infantry, joined the Filipino resistance, rising to the rank of General,…
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