AAs: WW1 (1915-1929)


Social Rights (in terms of soldiers during the WW1

1. The US army was segregated > still shows a racial divide

2. Black regiments tended to have white officers. > lack of oppurtunity for black soldiers to become officers

3. German propaganda leaflets informed black soldiers how many blacks had been lynched while they were fighting in Europe >> Suggested that if they changed sides the Germans would help them in their fight for civil rights. No black soldier deserted.

4. Black veterans were not welcomed home as conquering heroes 

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Social Rights (Whole population)

1. No. of African Americans moving north dramatically increased during and after the First World War >>> estimated 500 000 blacks moved to the cities of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago > Blacks that moved north were able to exercise the civil rights that had been denied to them in the south more easily > ALSO, In the north, black men used their vote and there was an increase in black newspapers 

2. AFTER WARnorthern whites resented the growing number of black voters > many furious to find their jobs taken by blacks when they returned from the war > HOSTILITY GREW


July 1919 - Red Summer -in Chicago AA boy accidentally went to white section of beach and was stoned and drowned > Violence proved that race relation problems were just as explosive in the north 

3. Revival of KKK >>> The new Ku Klux Klan also was hostile to Jews, Roman Catholics, socialists, communists – anyone they identified as foreigners.  In November 1922 Hiram W. Evans became the Klan's Imperial Wizard > Klansmen were elected to positions of political power including state officials in Texas, Oklahoma, Indiana, Oregon and Maine.  By 1925 membership reached 4 million

4.  After the conviction of the Klan leader, David C. Stephenson, for second-degree murder and evidence of corruption by other members, membership fell to around 30,000. 


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Social Rights 2 (Whole population)

5. The ‘Boom’ > US appeared very affluent with the glamour of Hollywood, daring fashions and the sound of jazz >However, Blacks in the south continued to struggle as incomes fell below £200 a year.  By 1929, 1.25 million blacks had left the south

6. In Harlem, death rate among blacks was 42% higher than in other parts of New York due to high incidences of child mortality> Neighbourhood schools were segregated because of population patterns & much less money was spent on black education

7.  In the North, lynching was less common and more black people were registered to vote which also gave them the right to be jurors.  Trials were sometimes fairer and more open.  

8. Harlem Renaissance >Black consciousness increased during the 1920s > included the poet, Langston Hughes, the artist, Aaron Douglas, and musicians, Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith and Duke Ellington.  For the first time black people were singing and writing about their experiences and desires for equality and freedom > reinforced racial pride and increased demands for key rights

9. NAACP took cases to federal courts (and the Supreme Court if necessary) >The Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill was directed at punishing lynchings and mob violence. It was passed by the House of Representatives in 1922 but its passage was halted by a Southern Democratic filibuster in the Senate (showed strong racial opposition from the South)

10Marcus Garvey founded the Universal N  e   g    r    o  Improvement Association (UNIA) dedicated to promoting AAs and resettlement in Africa in 1914 and began publishing the newspaper N  e  g   r   o World to convey his message. He urged AAs to be proud of their race and return to Africa.

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Social Rights 3 (Whole population)

11. 1920 - UNIA held its first International Convention at Madison Square Garden in New York City where Garvey spoke of having pride in African history and culture however many were concerned he had separatist ideas

12. 1922, Marcus Garvey and three other UNIA officials were charged with mail fraud involving the Black Star Line >>> Garvey was convicted and sentenced to prison for five years and sent back to Jamaica

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Employment Rights (in terms of soldiers)

1. AA tended to join the army as the marines as the US Air Service >> refused to accept blacks and they were only offered menial tasks in the Navy.

2. Blacks also filled positions vacated by whites who had joined the army

3. Northern whites resented the growing number of black voters and many were furious to find their jobs taken by blacks when they returned from the war and hostility grew

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Educational Rights

1. AAs used to be not be allowed training as army officers > NAACP protests allowed Reserve Officer Training Corp programmes were set up at several black colleges and a segregated officers’ training school was established in Iowa

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Economic Rights

1. In 1919, Garvey and the UNIA established the Black Star Line, a shipping company that would establish trade and commerce between Africans in America, the Caribbean, South and Central America, Canada and Africa

2. Garvey started the Negros Factories Association, a series of companies that would manufacture a range marketable goods in the USA and Africa

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Political Rights

1. Dyer AntiLynching Bill was meant to be passed in 1922 was blocked by a Southern democratic filibuster

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