tv Lectures in History CSPAN November 19, 2016 8:00pm-9:18pm EST
they have heard so much about it. it has been in their family's fogler. folklore.s you can see where mom and -- begin the family american story. that is what ellis island is about. the story of americans looking for something better. is about the american dream, which we all cherish wrigley. >> racial conflicts in integrating the military. this is about one hour and 15 minutes. >> hi everybody, welcome. our topic for today is black americans and world war ii. the question of the day is, how
should we understand the relationship between world war ii and the modern civil rights movement? hopefully the readings give you a lot to think about. during world war ii, recruiting posters aimed at african-americans used images of dorie miller with his decorated cross and joe miller in his -- joe lewis to show that black americans were wanted and needed, and that their service would be rewarded and respected. as you read, the report -- the reality of the black experience was not that simple. the posters themselves reflect this gap that characterize the experiences of this generation of black americans. both of these posters make it clear that the stakes were high. in the wake of his famous victory over a german boxer in
1938, joe louis became synonymous with being a symbol of opposition to nazi ideas about racial supremacy. when louis and schmeling squared off in a fight in madison square garden, 100 million people were tuned in worldwide to hear this match set up as a confrontation between democracy and fascism. louis enlisted in the u.s. army one month after the attack at pearl harbor, and became the face of a recruitment campaign encouraging black men to enlist in the army. in response to criticism from civil rights leaders that he was using his fame to legitimize what was a very segregated uis'response was always the same, there are a lot of things wrong with america, but hitler is not going to fix
them. he shifted the conversation from america's conversation about race to germany's conversation about race, facing to me first then turning to correct -- facing germany first then turning to correct american issues. he spent his life fighting an exhibition fights and promoting black worker meant. despite his celebrity status, strangero to the simulations experienced by black soldiers. loncor resources, lack of opportunities for advancement, racial epithets, being told to move to the back of the bus. the poster sets up a perfect dichotomy between democracy and fascism. the reality of joe louis military service makes it clear that democracy and white supremacy could and did coexist.
dorie miller on the right came to fame through his actions at pearl harbor. as japanese planes were swooping over the text of the uss west virginia, miller carried his wounded captain to safety, then took over manning a machine gun, managing to hit several of the incoming fire plans. that have would've been a courageous action under any circumstances, but it was made even more so by the fact that dorie miller didn't have any gunnery training. black sailors in the u.s. navy were restricted to behind-the-scenes roles like messman, cooks, and stewards. miller was a cook, and had been below deck gathering laundry. and seeing what he did to be done, despite lack of training, he went very much above and beyond the call of duty. 1942, dorie miller begin the first u.s. african-american to receive the navy cross, the
second highest award for courage under fire. the navy sent him on a warrant for, and used his face to drum up recruitment among african-americans, through promising opportunities to rise above and beyond, like dorie miller had done, and to be recognized. but when dorie miller's ship went down in the south pacific in 1943, the u.s. navy was still a rigidly segregated organization. miller himself, despite his actions, had been promoted no further than ship cook third class. there was almost no paths to advancement for african-american sailors in the navy. in life and death, dorie miller was a symbol, but a symbol of what? world war ii was a watershed moment, or of the limitations and promises of racial reforms of the war years.
as we talked about earlier, one of the biggest debate in civil rights historiography is over chronology and periodization. when did the movements begin? was it emancipation, the new deal, or in the 1950's or 1960's? world war ii lies smack in between the new deal and the 1950's. ins period plays a key role understanding the modern black freedom struggle. it is clear the warriors brought a lot of important gains. but also proved a profound disappointment to those who were hoping for lasting transformation in american race relations. understanding the how and why is where things get interesting. we want to use our time today to talk about the ways that black
americans experienced world war , and impacts to it of the war years in shaping the movement. we will look at some of the gains and limitations of racial reform. we will talk about the ways that veterans fight for civil rights. when people have looked back on the world war ii years, a lot of individuals have hypothesized that white americans began to back away from white supremacy during these years because of the atrocities of nazi germany offered such a horrendous example where obsession with racial purity could lead that is true to a certain extent. when nazi germany past the nuremberg -- passed the laws, someaws, those
aspects, the black press, were modeled on jim crowe statutes. that was affirmed by nazi officials. as persecution of german jews was intensifying in europe, civil rights organization in the u.s. were hammering home parallels between not see racial policies and america's segregation, arguing that the only essential difference between a nazi mob hunting down juice and central europe, and american mob burning men at the state in mississippi is that one is encouraged by its national government, and one is just tolerated. american civil rights organizations made a lot of use of nazi fixation on segregating show thesees, to laws were an affront to urban democracy. the urban league editorialized the fact that hitler's adopted the jim crow law to be proof
enough that it is delicious and progressive -- malicious and repressive and its purpose. questioned how students attending segregated schools could be taught to believe that hitler's rantings about a superior race were absurd. the report concluded unwittingly, we are raising a new generation of little fascists. throughout the war, black americans attempted to use reports out of germany to spur their white countrymen to do some soul-searching on race. but they didn't just sit around and wait for it to take root. they seized the opportunity they were provided by launching the vv campaign. what is that? winhe notion that to
abroad, we have to win at home. that tolerance is internationally linked. >> this is a strategy was laid out one month after pearl harbor printed in one of the most widely read like paper in the country's. this.er's author wrote he proposed two v's, a v for victory over enemies without, and a v for victory over enemies within. james thompson was a cafeteria worker and an aircraft plant in kansas, an african-american. he asked some questions that resonated deeply with career readers. -- with courier readers. they asked themselves, their
family, how should i respond to this crisis? should i buy war bonds? should i use the money i have to invest in the conflict? should i make sacrifices to support the war effort, even though i am not totally free myself? or as thompson put it, should i sacrifice my life to live half american? will things be better for the next generation in the peace to follow? would it be demanding too much to demand full citizenship rights in demand for second rising my life? is the kind of america that i know worth defending? serious questions. hadnths after his letter appeared in a letter, the courier issued a double v campaign. those across the country started taking it off as well those choose to pursue double v
in many different ways. membershipwar years, to the naacp exploded from about 50,000 to more than 400,000 by the end of the war. most of the new branches established were in the south, a region where white residents were known to be quick to fire, even, and progress -- fire, evict, and harass naacp members. this is an annual convention held in chicago that year. how does this post or use wartime imagery to make a point?
>> is a saying that the naacp has responsibility to get rid of jim crow laws, and that nazi is an and fascism is linked to this in many ways. >> yes, this bird is linked to the nazi regime and japan. what about the hand? that the naacp is strangling this bird? what about that imagery? >> the imagery is that it is a struggle. it is a war. you're not just that were with fascism, they are at war with jim crow. yeah, and that victory is literally within their grasp. jim crow is almost within the naacp's power to choke out.
>> could it be maybe with the amount of colors used on the poster, it looks like the naacp hand is actually a white hand, which is interesting. >> i think that's the shading of this particular poster. that is an interesting observation. given the message the naacp was time to send, think it is the shading of this image. it is an interracial organization. but i think that is probably shaving -- probably shading. naacp waship in really tookawyers up attacks on the legal super missy -- on legal white supremacy. was the naacp winning any big victories in the courts during this time? them fought the
judicial system would help them achieve housing in world war ii, any housing whatsoever. for many of them, they did not. >> there is a housing case that comes before the court in the late 1940's. but it is not a great victory, right? it is not something they will put forward as a massive step forward. although it is a half victory, you might say. >> two major court cases they 1948 when in 14 -- racial covenants were dictated no longer constitutional. an earlier court case in 1940 where they declared the mississippi white primary as unconstitutional. primaries would have to be racially integrated.
>> it is very much of a half victory. as andrew said, justice ruled that restrictive covenants cannot be legally enforced anymore. that it is unconstitutional because it is the state taking action to support or prop up segregation. what they don't say is that you can't write a restrictive covenant. they can't say that these barghborhood associations to them african americans from entering communities. --% of communities it isre not saying illegal to write them, they just cannot be held up in court anymore. if neighborhood associations and those who live in them still want these restrictive covenants, the fact that you
can't uphold them in court doesn't really mean a lot. constitutionally, this is a step forward, but on the ground, it's not a major step forward. that is the shelley case. 1948. and the other case that andrew referenced, this is the white primary case. people don't often have a strong sense of what a white primary is. we talk about it like everyone knows what it is. are you clear? no? essentially,ry this was one of the major ways that african-americans were kept away from the polls in the south. the south was a one-party region in this period. it was just assumed that the general election doesn't matter, because most of them states would go whoever the democratic candidate was.
the democratic party in many states maintained it was a private club, and thus could make its own rules about membership. and thus african-americans could not participate in the primary election, the only one that mattered. this is not down that it is unconstitutional. and this was a major tool for maintaining motor dissemination. it is only one tool among many. most of these states compensated by drying more heavily on other tools for maintaining discrimination. when most of us think about voters termination in the south, we think literacy tests. the reason that literacy tests became so, and prevalent was in got theause the naacp white primary knocked down during the war years. gates tot open the
widespread black boarding, but it --widespread black voting, but it needs those obstructing them have to find other tactics to use. when the flip-flop heavens with the democratic and -- flip-flop happens with the democrat and republican party. when did that pl split occur? >> 1970's basically. so, we've got these court victories. in addition to what is happening in the court, direct action was taking a step forward, direct action protests. interracial group of -- puttingetter their bodies on the line formed a new civil rights organization called the congress of racial equality, better known as core.
core activists pioneered the use of sit-ins to challenge racial discrimination at lunch counters, skating rinks, and restaurants across chicago. not the deep south. these are tactics that become widespread tools of the movement. we tend to associate them primarily with the self. -- the south. these tactics are pioneered in the northern city during world war ii. the war also gave black workers new tools to combat discrimnation in the workforce. what is happening on the employment front during these years? what are some advances in employment? were available
because young men had to go to war. men needed to hire black and other types of americans they were not necessarily looking for higher. >> demographics are really shifting. we would assume that the fact that these demographics are shifting means that most employers will recognize what startnt, that we need to hiring african-americans in large numbers, because young white men have gone off to war. this actually takes a lot of fighting to achieve. the summer of 1941, the leading voice -- the leading black voice in the labor movement, a philip randolph, head of the pullman porter union, uses the threat of a massive march on washington black workers to pressure the
white house to take steps to open jobs in the defense industry to african-americans. industries were shifting towards wartime production, hundreds of thousands of white were finding relatively paid jobs in defense industry, jobs that were so lucrative that they were pulling their families out of the depression. but more than half of employers producing war related goods in 1941 refused to hire any black employees at all. half of them. and the other half, most of the other half, only hired like employees at very low levels -- only hired black employees at very low levels. defense industry jobs offered the best opportunity for black economic job that have been seen in a generation. vacate high wages, -- a paid high wages, union
representation, the ability to be trained in new skills. were jobs worth fighting for. the march onched washington movement. organizers marched, they went to stores, pool halls, wherever they could find people. they found an enormous amount of interest. by the summer of 1941, the threat of 250,000 upset african-american workers marching with what has became a very real possibility. -- marching onto the white house became a very real possibility. in addition to the usual concerns that any sitting president feels when confronted with the front of a mess march, roosevelt worried that the presence of so many black demonstrators in washington would call increased worldwide attention to the fact that washington dc was a segregated city. this humiliation of racial discrimination in d.c. were best
summed up in this photograph. have any of you seen this before? today gordon parks is one of the best-known photographers of the 20th century, also known for directing shaft. at the time this photo was taken in 1942, he was just another african-american employee that was forced to deal with the humiliation of discrimination. first day in the city, he got thrown out of 3 or 4 establishments. he was hired to work as a photographer. photos, het sticking was thrown out. at the end of the day he spent the day in the office sharing stories with this woman. she was a janitor in the form security administration office. became solked, parks
moved by her story that he asked her to pose. he very consciously modeled this ghot on american gothic, putti the flag in the backdrop. parks'intention was to demonstrate the gap of the american ideals talked about in the war and the reality of the nation's treatment of its black citizens. parks went on to a legendary career, but many consider this his most powerful photograph. it is one of my favorites. a mass demonstration by black workers in d.c. would have further highlighted this tension between the realities and rhetoric in the nation capital. roosevelt asked his wife eleanor, one of his most reliable liaisons with the black
community, to negotiate with march on washington leaders. what will it take to stop this march? when eleanor roosevelt got back to the sea, she told her husband that "nothing short of an antidiscrimination ordinance, a actual change in the law, will stop the march from happening." just a few weeks before these 250,000 people were scheduled to come to d.c., roosevelt offered a partial concession. the naacp had been pressuring him to ban racial discrimination in the defense industry and desegregate the armed forces. roosevelt says, can't do the second. i can't do that at this moment. but he agrees to the first, issuing executive order-8802, banning employers receiving federal contracts from dissemination in hiring. 8802 also graded the fair
employment practices commission, a federal agency that would monitor complaints of dissemination in the workplace. many observers consider this to be the most meaningful action in support of black right since reconstruction. in response, rendell agreed to cancel the march. although the march on washington movement continued as a social movement throughout the next few years. in the wake of this, defense contractors protested, quite accurately as it turned out to be, that many of their white employees would refuse to work with blacks. many simply ignored roosevelt's order. black workers, knowing that they had his executive order, staged grassroots actions pushing for compliance. detroit, a city that was talked a lot about in our readings, black foundry workers at the
walkoutsnt staged two demanding that management consider them from transferred to more highly paid jobs on the assembly line. by the end of the war, the percentage of defense industry jobs held by black americans had increased from 3% to 8%. not a huge increase, but an increase. federal employment rates among african-americans had tripled, a more significant development. we have a body of evidence that suggests that world war ii was an important watershed moment for civil rights. fortunately when we back away and look more at the big picture view, it becomes more clear that a lot of the games made -- the g ains made were largely symbolic. as war casualties began to mount, black newspapers shelved the call for double v, and just
supporting the war effort. jobsheerings did open new to blacks in companies it investigated, and those that did not want the negative publicity. the agency did not have any enforcement powers. it could publicize instances of dissemination in the workplace. it could release a report saying, packers discriminated against black workers. but it couldn't take any legal action against packard. uthough employment rates were p for african-americans during the war, most were still trapped in menial jobs. >> black workers deftly made some gains in the war years, but they had to fight for them. often against their coworkers and their on unions.
this propaganda poster is interesting and it presents an image of racial unity. put aside any differences they have to come together because they have a common devotion supporting the war effort. the reality of workplace integration was often a lot messier than an image like this would suggest. at the packard plant in detroit which produced tanks, efforts to transfer black workers to the production line led to white inkers walking off the job response to the idea of working with black men and the subsequent removal of black workers. when the union strongly starts, theese hate black workers walked out in
1943. as soon as they came back to work, 45,000 white assembly workers walked out at the prospect of walking -- working with a handful of black men. this is in the middle of the war. individual who was threatened with the draft was christopher alston who was the union steward who organize the black workers. when he refused to back down on the demand that the company n was black women, alsto fired and sent to the aleutian islands in the span of a week. similar hate strikes launched by white workers happened all across the country. philadelphia, baltimore, chicago. then there was the battle over housing. what happened on the housing front during the war?
they try to tie the propaganda that was going on before the war and so when they were saying let's spend less money on housing, when they would build a black community, it would give them an excuse to build poorly equipped housing. this idea of building housing for african-americans in and of itself was super controversial, right? are there specific instances of that that you can remember? what happened in detroit? theyusing rights where were building the homes and someone said we are going to make them african-american only housing and the whites were like, we need housing. they were like, we are going to fix them. the blacks right, we don't
want to live here. and everything blew up. all the blacks were moving up newhe northern cities, this black population because of the constrictions from prewar housing laws, many northern cities had to create new housing many white neighborhoods didn't want a black neighborhood next to them, they protested. the only time white people didn't protest with wendy black communities were put out of the way in toxic areas. >> that is a good summation. going off what he said, to what
happening inat was the housing front during the war, to what extent is this the next chapter in an ongoing side of is spanning the 20th century? is there anything that is new here or different? the only thing that would be new in the discussion is whether the houses should be temporary or permanent. that was a war effort phenomenon whereas in the previous and further discussions after the war it was mainly should blacks be allowed at all instead of what kind of accommodations should blacks have within the community. >> and that is revolving around this question of housing or -- housing of defense workers. in mentioned the increase migration. this is the second great migration.
are seeing similar patterns set off by the first great migration. similar responses, but now there is a war for democracy. that is the way that the rhetoric has to be employed. because of the restrictions in housing we have been talking about over the last several class meetings, the fact is that african-american neighborhoods in most northern, urban centers were penned in. african-americans could not move outside the walls of this neighborhood because of all kinds of reasons, the inability to get insurance, white violence, walls, all kinds of things. swelled, moreion and more people get trapped in tiny neighborhoods. because many of these people industry workers, then and women who were going off to work in plants
contributing to the war effort, the federal government again saying we need to get involved in the housing market. we need to offer low-cost housing options for these , but,s and their families as daniel pointed out, whenever that conversation unfolded in the local area, the question of where will this community go became incredibly problematic. truth incident in detroit, why did residents in the communities surrounding the locations selected for the sojourner truth home, why they respond like this -- why did they respond like this? e-house is usually the
biggest investment that somebody is going to make and you want your investments to appreciate rather than depreciate. a lot of people think that if they have black neighborhoods right next to their theirorhoods that somehow home would depreciate in value. they didn't care if it happened to another neighborhood, but it didn't happen -- it could happen in their neighborhood. >> not in my back yard. kind of sentimentalist. you are telling us about plantation architecture where they put the slave houses behind the trees and at the edge of the property. if you are a white community, you don't want the black community and the middle, you want them over at the edge of town where no one goes. backyard, but also out of sight and out of mind. >> there was this white fear
that existed that, well, we can't have these people here. it's almost like, why would you resources to people who were viewed as lesser. they did not see them as a people so why should we waste resources on them was kind of the mindset back during this. eriod.ing this p >> any resources given to african-americans were seen by whites as something taken away from whites who are more deserving of those resources. when the sojourner truth homes are proposed, white homeowners in the surrounding neighborhoods complained so loudly about this that congress got involved. investigating the black groups who were calling for the original policy of this being a black complex to be
continued. and in the state of this kind of outcry, housing officials flip-flopped. that is fourth, first this will be a black complex and then after the outcry from the white neighbors, it will be a conflict for the white workers. then after more outcry from the african-americans, it will be a complex were black workers. be aomplex that it could place for both whites and blacks was unfathomable to them. so what happens when african-american families start moving into the sojourner truth homes in february of 1942? >> white families in the neighborhood blockaded the new homes and reacted violently. they set fires and threw stones. was attacked in his trucks
-- in his truck. the blackacked protesters instead of the white protesters. this becomes an all-out fight , but i think about 100 people were arrested. i think all the five of them were black. blackwho were being, the protesters who were just trying to move into their homes or the prison family who came to their defense. the white writers were largely untouched by the police. oters werete ri largely untouched by police. even after the order was given that the black workers should be
able to continue moving in, the police continue to lock them for several more weeks, saying we don't have the resources to protect you. that's, you can't move into these homes. the racial tensions in detroit were sogh-pitched -- high-pitched that life magazine -- that "life magazine" ran a detroit could blow up the united states. or blow up hillard. hitler.ow up as the race right broke out, over the course of three days,
rioters were injured and detroit police openly sympathized with the white rioters. they simply stood by as white rioters attacked black passersby. that is a quick overview of some of the ways that this tension between change and resistance in the war years played out in the home front. if we shift our attention over to the military, we see in the weeks and months after pearl harbor, huge numbers of african americans were flocking to recruitment centers motivated by , and opportunities for full citizenship. a large number of african-americans refused to participate in the war effort on the grounds that until
african-americans enjoy the rights of citizenship, they should not make the sacrifices that citizens are asked to make. that is a different interpretation for double v. it makes the black participation in the war dependent on making real change. they filed for conscientious objector, but very few of them were granted it. the vast majority of black draft prison termsved for draft evasion, including members of the nation of islam. joe lewis and dorie miller were used as symbols to attract black recruits to a military that was still segregated. that tookn approach some time to evolve. in the early days of the work, like recruitment is not high on
the list of priorities for military officials. they had assumed and projected that probably 10% of the would beduring the war african-americans and when the numbers rose beyond that, they started turning black enlistees away at the door on the grounds that they didn't have facilities to train them and their presence in such large numbers with the more life white troops who wouldn't want to go to war if they could see that african-americans were also signing up to serve their country. event ensured that this kind of resistance didn't last long. between fierce protest from the black community and the intense need for more men, by 1942, recruitment, not exclusion was the order of the day. but, black troops faced discrimination at every turn. they were forced to train and fight in segregated units and usingften barred from
post facilities like movie theaters or the post exchange. the were forced to eat in jim crow car and brought the -- and eight the meal they brought with them. black units were assigned to supply transportation roles, and these are important roles, but they were disproportionately represented in them. only about 12% of black servicemen actually served in combat. discontent within army ranks was widespread. black members of the women's army corps who were stationed in place in kansas expressed that their commander treated them
like prisoners, not like soldiers. soldiers at an airfield in tallahassee, florida wrote that they haven't had a square meal in weeks and they were being refused access to medical care. .'m going to quote their letter "as citizens of america, we want to serve our country and are willing to sacrifice our lives to protect our loved ones. as members of the armed forces, we should be treated like human beings and not dogs. californias in protested that the italian pows on base were being treated worse than the black soldiers who were stationed there. the naacp received so many complaints from black soldiers about medical care, lack of food, discrimination, and brutality from all around the country that by the end of 1944, they asked branches that were
located near military bases to undertake a systematic investigation of conditions on the basis near their community. blackould happen when soldiers who were stationed in the south wanted to take local leave? wanted to go into the community ?urrounding the races -- bases >> they were not received well at all. >> you want to expand on that? of wherewere examples white southerners did not appreciate black soldiers and they felt that the black soldiers they were equal to the whites and the whites were taken aback by that. they didn't understand how blacks could consider themselves on the same level. upsety were incredibly
when they went out to town and were accused of doing things such as flirting with white women and doing other things. many of the senators of the state required that the army and almostigations all of them were found to be falsified and, for the most part, black troops were well behaved units -- were one of the most well-behaved units in all of the army. they tried to avoid these problems by refusing requests and by trying to keep black troops confined to the base. black soldiers who did leave, they were often attacked by gangs of whites, they are ,rought up on false charges there were a few cases of black soldiers being lynched while
still in uniform. some of those who were contacted your attention by taking civil stands, by refusing to sit on the back of a bus, by using a white restroom or defending a black woman who was being harassed by a of whites or by going out with a white woman. others were attacked solely because they were black men and blackworking around -- men and women walking around in united states military uniforms. the durham, north carolina area was the seat a lot -- the seat of a lot of these racial issues. two black private stationed at fort sumner were turned away from a cafe in a small town not far from the post. as they were thrown out the door, one of them called the proprietor a white son of a
butch. andollowed them outside club won over the head and drag the other to jail. the man who had been hit over the head ran back to base and told his calm race what had happened. -- and he told his fellow men what happened. town andmen went into met the police chief. he slapped one of them, throws one to the ground and throws his gun at him. disperseers refused to and the police start firing tear gas into the crowd. at this point, the soldiers tried to storm the jail and when they got the door, they found the entire town police force
lined up behind a machine gun police forcethe specifically for when the black soldiers were going to be stationed on this base. this was anticipated. these classes were not only common, but work anticipated by many local white and on enforcement who expected black soldiers to be dangerous and to step out of their place, to challenge southern racial norms resist thisntly challenge to the racial order. a few weeks later, a private privated in the -- a lay dead in the streets of durham. places of huge conversation for black and white soldiers during the war years.
19 -- as the bus -- in 1944, booker t specily and a group of black soldiers were ordered onto the bus -- to get back on the bus. he said, move, it's the law. spicey said to be soldiers, i thought i was fighting a war for democracy, aren't i just as good to stop a bullet as you are. why should i have to give up my seat for you? going back bit of and forth, the white soldiers agreed that he shouldn't have to
get up and they went to the back of the bus to sit in spaces that were available. this infuriated the driver and he started swearing at all three of them. why do you think this was so enraging for the driver? this is one of the things we talked about with the partitioning and all that stuff. just keep the black nott from the whites, it is spicely isct that sitting in the front, but the white soldiers are going to be back. >> yes, even whites are challenging the racial order. it was a complete, i guess,
he felt, most of these jim crow laws were made to give people who has no reason to have power and this man was empowered to say this is my bus that i control and the soldiers were blatantly disrespecting him. he probably felt very disempowered by this and he felt that his whole social order that he is been raised on had gone away and he probably felt very self-conscious. >> exactly. his authority is being challenged on multiple levels. under segregation, bus drivers had more power than they ever had before or have ever had since. get to go to the
,ront of the bus, he mutters you wouldn't be driving this bus. to serve the unfit military was a front to patriotism and masculinity. for a black man to say this to a white man in front of a bus full of passengers who is getting his authority disregarded, this situation was explosive. this.uncil responded to spicelypoint spike -- understands this is getting dangerous. he apologizes and the bus driver gets up. the bus driver grabbed a pistol that he kept under the seat.
south, minibus drivers were armed. at point-blankce range and killed him instantly. he gets back on the bus and finishes the bus route. then he turns himself into the police. we don't have any sense of what the white on the bus, soldiers, the others, how they are responding to this. you can imagine most people were terrified and trying to get off the bus as quickly as possible. with murder,arged he goes to trial, all-white jury deliberates for half an hour before acquitting him on all charges on the ground that he spicely on the grounds of self-defense. stories like this are far too,
and we talk about african-americans after world war ii. the marine corps began accepting african-americans in 1942 in segregated units. in december of that year, one of the first black marines was accosted while only by a team of white marine mps. him and threw him in jail on the charges of impersonating a marine. he was in jail for five days until they could get him out. the justification was that there could be no such thing as a black marine. obviously they missed that directive. ff's commanding officer was infuriated by this. he went on to become one of the of the blackts
marines. this is him in 1943 in the pacific. some base commanders criticized segregation and some encouraged local white to treat black soldiers with respect. when soldiersd under their command were mistreated by civilian authorities. employees whod were engaging and racial discrimination and even before directivepartment's facilities, some already allowed it. black combat units were still a minority, but 22 of them were fighting in the european theater. the teske airmen were escorting bombers in italy.
they received an award for courage under fire. the men in this unit became somebody first americans to liberate the concentration camps. during the last major german offensive in europe, the battle of the bowls, which addressed the allied forces back into belgium, penalties were so high fromvolunteers were called the african-american service units in the area. about 2500 black soldiers ultimately served beside white troops on a counteroffensive that pushed back the german line. when this was announced, most white soldiers were skeptical, but after fighting with black their, 75% described attitude towards immigration as highly favorable.
suggesting that sharing combat experience with play a role in breaking down the racial prejudice. considering the military need combated soldiers white supremacy, but as you read, military authority compromised in preserving racist military practices. in the wake of the battle of the buldge, they were returned to their original roles. despite the fact that the secretary of the navy and the american red was done to placate outspoken members of congress who abhorred any racial mixing. the naacp fought really hard against this.
they lost. oftentimes, i think, don't realize or knowledge when we talk about the black whiteence is many americans including some northerners are also embracing a form of dd. how did this defer from the complained that -- from the campaign that black americans were waging? >> it was almost like a negative freedom. they were trying to fight their freedom from segregation, being able to fight for self-determination, they were able to uphold things like institutionalized racism. ogline: they would
say, this is not about democracy. this is about what? >> [indiscernible] they reallyline: did see every victory as part of a conspiracy to destroy the liberties of whites. let's talk more about this. what were they so concerned about? how did they respond when black soldiers came into their communities? how did they see what was at stake in this war? what did they think they were fighting for? war article mentioned the -- the poll tax, including african-american soldiers. they thought if african-americans got the right to vote they will vote for hit liver president and we will have
sm. see as him -- nazi and that was their big thing, that they will embrace it work. and communism. mm-hmm.r ogline: >> they use the black and northern national presence as a form of second yankee invasion. they believed that they were attempting to take over and using african-americans and the government -- african-american vote to do so. they fueled -- debuted new anti-american.st so a victory abroad would also need to have a victory at home against franklin roosevelt. professor ogline: yeah, these things are very, very much conflated. pointed out, the
poll tax becomes a lightning rod for this controversy for a number of different reasons. he explained so much back taxes before being able to vote that many african-american voters could not afford to register to vote because they could not pay all of these back taxes. but the poll taxes also -- the poll tax is also doing something else at the same time. in addition to keeping african-americans from the polls, how else is the poll tax functioning? >> it is keeping poor whites from voting also. the people who could vote in the white primaries were a small group of the richer white
americans, white southerners. good.sor ogline: and i cannot remember the statistics he gives right off the top of my head, but basically he is saying in large swaths of the american south, teeny percentages of american voters are actually voting in election. >> [indiscernible] yeah,-professor ogline: that's a shocking statistic. if less of a quarter of voters are voting, what are the implications of that? >> rhode island, i think, had two representatives, and it was, like, 207 -- there were basically more people voting for the two than representatives -- alabama, mississippi, and georgia combined. therefore the vote of a mississippian was worth more than the vote of a rhode island
are. per capita there were less people voting so they could ensure that the poll tax congressmen and senators would stay in congress for ever and ever and they would run the committees and basically got what they wanted even though they had a very low voter turnout rates. yeah, so ogline: people are disenfranchised to read do not have a say. the antithesis of democracy. and those in congress reaped the benefits of this. when you have trained 5% of the electorate voting -- 25% of the electorate voting, you are less likely to be voted out of office, and the longer you are in congress, the more seniority you have, the more you chair important to amaze that can block civil rights reform in many, many directions and we will talk about this through the
year, the way the southern control of key congressional committees blocks so many attempts to do civil rights legislation because of this low voter turnout. which was in part because of the poll tax. so, the pushback to overturn the poll tax is in tents. it -- is intense. it is successful, right? with the civil rights act. it is not abolished in state elections until a supreme court ruling in 1966, and this big or throughe in part intense waves of violence unleashed across the south. one more thing i want to say about that. in the years after the war, shite supremacists sometime
through on their military service during world war ii to claim they had the right to live as they wanted and to personally police the lines of america's racial hierarchy. we talked last week briefly about the murder of emmett till in 1955. after being acquitted in a farce of a trial, they sold their stories to a magazine reporter, greatch they confess in detail. one of them -- the one in the middle, he was a world war ii veteran and he told the reporter, i decided it was time that a few people were put on notice. i told him, i am going to make an example of years so everyone knows where me and my folks stand. he is directly drawing on his service during the war to make the case he is entitled to uphold white supremacy.
so racial violence against lacked veterans was intense at times. macy is nice or isaac would are -- snipes became the first black resident in the county, georgia to successfully registered to vote. he was shot 24 hours after casting his first ballot and he died in a few days and no one was ever charged. isaac woodward was on his way home after being discharged from the army when he got into an argument with a bus driver in south carolina. the police officer two responded to the call be him so badly he lost his eyesight permanently. that is him in the middle in the middle,- being escorted by joe louis. he was a celebrity. louis the individual soldier was
no stranger to the kinds of .hings that happened to snipes black veterans were targets because they returned -- so many returned from the war determined to continue fighting for democracy and not accept second class citizenship. veterans like medgar evers, aaron henry, they were at the home of some of the major civil thets organizations of 1960's. by the late 1940's, the stage was set for the next two decades. many white americans continued supremacy, but others, particularly veterans who had experience with black troops were emerging from the war with different ideas about race and democracy. so, let me again ask a question we started off with. a big question. how should we understand the relationship tween the second
world war and the civil rights movement. war at extent was the step forward and to what extent was the war a. iod of the war a per continuity with what came before? view historyhow we is all from where we are right now, and, i mean, all of these horror stories of blacks returning home or not touched upon, not talked about and people say, oh, blacks in the military during world war ii, usually the tuskegee airmen, and joe louis, etc., the good stories, but no one touches on the extreme horror stories or draws upon the fact that many of werer's nuremberg laws drawn from jim crow laws. i would say they did have some gains. symbolic.marily
even today america has not accepted the fact that during this time, although we were not did nots dad, we represent the values we were fighting for. so you reallyne: see this as more of a moment of continuity? there's not a dramatic change. >> i think it is even a loss because we were saying that we were fighting for these things. professor ogline: ok. >> the book set in chapter 22 they started to revert the status quo of the south. while it was not a blatant, obvious, ok we have done things wrong, we need to change, but i pointit was the tipping
in the south. people realize they could not stay the way that they were and they got more attention because of the comparisons being drawn. and while it was not like, everything is changed now, everything is great, it was the tipping point and it really got the ball rolling more towards change, but the still -- but change still took a long time. if we areogline: looking at it from a historiographical angle, what are the benefits to seeing world war ii as a prelude, and what are the benefits to seeing it as an earlier phase of a movement? >> i think it was a pushback, or a step back, but because of that step back it created a lot of tension that propelled it future in the future.
professor ogline: an interesting analogy. anybody else? think history graphically speaking, it's easier to explain and interpretation if you give something a firm beginning, middle, and end. say it has a firm beginning, it's easy to say things were bad and it got better. but the way that we remember this history shows that it was bad and it was still bad. improved.hings have but our memory hides what has happened. >> and if you use the short civil rights movement and you start with the brown versus board of education, it seems like brown just kind of happened out of the blue and there is no reason for it. but if you start with world war
ii, you start to see the trickle of thoughts beginning, we need to really change things. really explodes in 19th fifa and we get to see where it came from, not just someone randomly out of the blue integrate schools now. because that had not happened -- for the last 10 years or so there are thinking, no, we need to fix things in america. point ir ogline: one would leave you with, because world war ii was a moment that transformed america's relationship with the larger rightsit presented civil activists with new weapons for their arsenal, namely global opinion. reason that the housing officials in detroit said, no, a blacking to be conflict, they realize the axis powers had been using stories about the riots to sway neutral
countries. and one of the outcomes of the shelley case, one of the arguments the naacp made and was accepted was restricted covenants ran counter to the antidiscrimination principles that the u.s. had supposedly embraced when they embraced the ..n. charter so, this is really a foreshadowing that is going to loom into full flower in the 1950's, the full-fledged strategy of using world opinion as a tool and a tactic to achieve civil rights change. so, thank you very much. a brief reminder. due onper proposals are wednesday. if you have questions, feel free to come and see me. and you guys are up on wednesday. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016]
>> join us every saturday evening at 8 p.m. and midnight eastern as we join students in college classrooms to hear lectures on topics ranging from the american revolution to 9/11. lectures in history are also available as a podcast. visit our website, /history/podcasts or download them on itunes. >> coming up on american history tv, 33rd international churchill david cannadine talks about winston churchill's relationship with the two queens that he served. of 15 books and