The Significant Role of African American in the Union Army Frederick Beasley Senior Seminar May 10, 2014 Much of the Civil War centered on African Americans. A large reason as to why the Civil War started was to free the slaves. Many blacks wanted to join the Civil War from the onset of the war. They have several reasons for wanting to join the war. First, they wanted to assist in freeing the slaves in southern states.
Black People in the US Army In the short story ,,The Homecoming’’ by Frank Yerby the Protagonist Willie, a highly decorated soldier, gets back home. He served in the Second World War and has experienced a lot of horrible things. Willie has seen how people, no matter what skin colour they had, were treated equally. He can’t stand the unfair situation in the southern states for black people and now he want to leave. Because of this story I asked myself some questions.
For northern blacks were exposed to the formal segregation of the south when training in rural military camps. All the more when they found that the Army itself was segregated, where they were revoked of the right to fight, often given medial positions as cooks and cleaners. Black soldiers who were allowed to fight were given less training and worse equipment. The treatment of black soldiers lay in the striking contradiction of the freedoms which they were fighting for abroad, yet were unable to enjoy themselves. This continued segregation throughout the war served only to transform black soldier’s attitudes; they would use the ‘Double V’ sign to show they were fighting for two victories: victory overseas and victory over racism at home.
Black people had the legal right to vote as there were measures that were put into place to prevent the south African Americans from voting by using the poll tax and literacy tests. Northern blacks were increasing their political force compared to the blacks in the south. By the 1945, the northern states had between 5 to 13% of blacks in the total population. Black voters in these states could determine the outcome of the elections if they voted as a block. In the South, only 15% of southern blacks were allowed to vote and this marked as a contrast to their black’s political situation.
It would seem that racial equality had not improved, but worsened. In October 1917 the first group of black army officers qualified, although they were only allowed to command black units and the majority of officers who commanded black units were white. Black people were first allowed to join the army during the civil war after the emancipation proclamation was passed in 1863, so little had changed in terms of racial equality in the armed forces. The turning point in racial equality was before WW1, with the emancipation proclamation. The 15th amendment (1870) gave black men equal voting rights with white men.
Traditionally Black Americans had voted for the Republican Party. President Truman was able to win considerable black support for the Democratic Party by endorsing civil rights during his presidency. Truman was motivated by his experience of segregation in his home state of Missouri. Truman used his powers as president to implement reforms such as: Executive order’s to outlaw racial discrimination in civil service employment; The CGCC was established to ensure that government contracts did not go to employers that had segregation in the work place, Truman also appointed black Americans to high-profile
Race Relations after the Civil War 3 The way white Southerners made it difficult on former slaves in the South was to create what was called “Black Codes”. These codes were laws made by southern states to try to ensure their way of life could not be infringed on in the wake of the passing of the 13th amendment which outlawed slavery. Examples of such codes varied from state to state. However, the message was clear to the former slaves that they were still unequal. Examples of these laws are as follows: 1.
It poses the question of, why would any slaves or free blacks work towards a Southern victory when this war was seen as one to sustain blacks' enslavement and degradation? A person could understand and assume these points; however it has never been disproven that African Americans served in active combat roles. What has been proven and studied are the 90,000 African Americans that did work in the Confederate army as military laborers and body servants. Some would assume that these servants worked in the Confederacy against their will, but this was not always the case. Somebody servants were chosen from amongst all the slaves and were normally one of the oldest slaves or oldest families of slaves.
Attorney Nolan offers a different view of General Lee and his accomplishments and undoing’s on the battlefield. I believe it was clear from the start that the South did not have the manpower or the resources to make the battle equally weighted on both sides. General Lee believed he could win the battle if they could pursue a strategic offensive against the North. However it became clear to him that the “superior numbers of the enemy” was a big concern. If he was a great leader why fight a battle you know you can’t win and lose so many lives, especially since Lee knew he would be eventually defeated.
Muhammad Ali was drafted to the war, and he made the decision not to participate because of his beliefs. Jackie Robinson helped to establish the Freedom National Bank, which is an African American owned financial institution. These athletes and many more have seized opportunities outside the sporting arena in hopes to advance the African American community. Today sports such as football, basketball, and track and fields are dominated by African Americans. This makes me question why are African Americans so prominent and dominant in these sports?