To What Extent Was Ww1 a Turning Point in Increasing Racial Equality Between Black and White Americans

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WW1 was a turning point in increasing racial equality between black and white Americans to a lesser extent. During WW1 black people made contributions to the war effort by moving north to work in factories making war goods. However violence occurred where they moved as competition with the whites for jobs was rife. In the short term with competition and violence intensifying, the Ku Klux Klan restarted in the south and lynchings became common. 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. However they were threatened or physically stopped from voting. It was no good having rights which were not enforced. Yet inequality increased at the end of the 19th century and continued in the early 20th century through Southern states passing the ‘Jim Crow’ laws which increased segregation. WW1 did little in stopping the rising tide of segregation. In the aftermath of the civil war a Freedmen’s bureau was set up to start schools and help black people find work. However some schools were burnt down and students beaten up. And a 17 year old black teacher was killed in Tennessee for starting a school. Yet by 1870 21% of freed slaves were able to read and write. So it would seem that the turning point of increasing racial equality was just after the civil war. In conclusion WW1 was not the turning point in

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