Items tagged African-American Soldiers (23 total)

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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 supposed "Aryan superiority" touted by the Nazi regime. Of his decision to join a segregated U.S. Army,…

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Item Type: Poster/Print
Date: 1941

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 war. The influence of modern abstraction and of the New Negro Movement, in which African-American…

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Item Type: Poster/Print
Date: Circa 1942

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 describe escaped slaves who fled behind Union Army lines for safety. The three young African-American men…

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Item Type: Photograph
Date: Circa 1861

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 African Americans to serve in the Union Army in August 1862, and when Lincoln announced the Emancipation…

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Item Type: Photograph
Date: 1864

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 abuses first hand, the grievances against the American occupiers are justified.

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Item Type: Newspaper/Magazine
Date: 1900

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, fighting against the U.S. Army in the Philippines.

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Item Type: Newspaper/Magazine
Date: 1901

In 1925, seven years after the end of World War I, the Army War College undertook a study to evaluate the fitness of black soldiers for service in a future war. The study's recommendations emphasized the importance of white officers and strict segregation of black troops; it was generally dubious about the prospects of black soldiers serving…

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Item Type: Government Document
Date: 1925

Although over a million African-American men and women served during World War II, they continued to experience discrimination in the armed forces. In addition to being relegated to segregated combat units, often in service-and-supply capacities, black soldiers found that on-base facilities such as officer's clubs and theaters were strictly…

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Item Type: Diary/Letter
Date: 1944

John F. Shorter, an African-American solider writing on behalf of his fellow members of the Massachusetts 55th Regiment, addresses President Lincoln over the issue of unfair pay. Shorter charges that he and his fellow soldiers have received no pay after more than a year of service, that they have been offered only seven dollars a month (slightly…

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Item Type: Diary/Letter
Date: 1864

James Henry Gooding, an African-American soldier fighting on Morris Island, South Carolina, writes to President Lincoln asking for better pay. Initially, black soliders in the Union Army were paid only $10 a month, from which $3 was deducted for clothing, while white enlisted men were paid $13 a month with no clothing allowance. Gooding's eloquent…

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Item Type: Diary/Letter
Date: 1863