How Far Would You Agree That Black Americans Had Cause for Optimism at the End of the Ww2?

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Although America was still a place dominated by race hatred and oppression in the time leading up to and following the war, it is undeniable that the Second World War was a turning point in America’s attitude to race and in turn Black Americans attitude towards themselves. Although Black American’s position in society remained firmly inferior to the whites at this time, the war did have direct impacts which brought about economic, social and political improvements, which were key in bringing about change in the black situation. I shall discuss the changes which gave Black Americans cause for optimism following World War 2, and the reality of the grim situation which remained. The experience of war itself radicalised black soldiers. 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. But it was their exposure to un-segregated European societies that really changed them, seeing that it was in fact possible to achieve what they hoped, and to further affirm the injustice of their own society. Black soldiers returned as heroes who having risked their lives for their country, felt deserving of full citizenship, and intended to challenge racial injustice. The attitudes towards black
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