In one of the few book-length treatments of the subject, Nina Mjagkij conveys the full range of the African American experience during the "Great War." Prior to World War I, most African Americans did not challenge the racial status quo. But nearly 370,000 black soldiers served in the military during the war, and some 400,000 black civilians migrated from the rural South to the urban North for defense jobs. Following the war, emboldened by their military service and their support of the war on the home front, African Americans were determined to fight for equality. These two factors forced America to confront the impact of segregation and racism.
Nina Mjagkij is professor of history at Ball State University. She serves as coeditor of Rowman & Littlefield's African American History Series, as well as director of Ball State's African-American Studies Program.
Chronology Introduction Chapter 1: The Land of Jim Crow: African Americans at the Eve of World War I Chapter 2: From Field to Factory: The Wartime Migration of African Americans Chapter 3: Fighting to Fight: The Struggle for Black Officers and Combat Soldiers Chapter 4: Raising a Jim Crow Army: The Mobilization and Training of African American Troops Chapter 5: Over There: African American Soldiers in France Chapter 6: Closing Ranks? African Americans on the Home Front Epilogue: Returning to Racism Documents Bibliographic Essay