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The Role of Women and African Americans in WWI. IB 20 th Century Topics. Opportunities for African-Americans in WW1. “Great Migration.” 1916 – 1919  500,000 War industries work. Enlistment in segregated units. WW I: The Great Migration.

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opportunities for african americans in ww1
Opportunities for African-Americans in WW1
  • “Great Migration.” 1916 – 1919  500,000
  • War industries work.
  • Enlistment in segregated units.
ww i the great migration
WW I: The Great Migration
  • Demographics…Great Migration of Blacks from South to the Northern US (Race Riots 1917-19)
  • The Great Migration
    • The war opened thousands of industrial jobs to black laborer
    • 500,000 migrated north
    • increased presence and demands for change  Dozens of blacks were killed during a 1917 riot in East St. Louis, Illinois
african americans and wwi
African Americans and WWI
  • Black leaders saw the war as an opportunity for advancement
  • World War I did not bring significant gains
    • navy barred blacks, army segregated
  • Also riots and lynching increased in the South
    • Violence led to a silent march of protest on NY 5th Ave – “Mr. President, Why Not Make America Safe for Democracy?”
chicago race riot 1919
Chicago Race Riot, 1919
  • Because of industrial jobs available in WWI, the African-American population in Chicago increased from 44,000 to 109,000, for a total of 148 percent during 1916-1919.
  • The postwar period found tensions rising in numerous cities where populations were increasing rapidly
  • The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 was a major racial conflict that began in Chicago, Illinois on July 27, 1919 and ended on August 3.
  • During the riot, dozens died and hundreds were injured.
  • It is considered the worst of the approximately 25 riots during the Red Summer of 1919, so named because of the violence and fatalities across the nation
wwi african americans
WWI: African Americans
  • Many were forced to work behind the lines jobs
  • The 369th Harlem Hellfighters fought with the French
    • The 369th Infantry Regiment was known for being the first African American Regiment during WWI
    • During the war the 369th's regimental band (under the direction of James Reese) became famous throughout Europe, being the first to introduce the until-then unknown music called jazz to British, French and other audiences, and starting a worldwide demand for it
  • US Troops were segregated black and white
women s service in wwi
Women’s Service in WWI
  • Held Home Front jobs
    • RR Workers, cooks, bricklayers, dock workers, coal miners, clerks, teachers, and helped to sell liberty bonds
    • Warfront Jobs of Women

Red Cross Nurses

Radio operators

Ambulance drivers

women s suffrage
Women’s Suffrage
  • America’s entry into the war threatened to tear apart the suffrage movement
    • Jeannette Rankin opposed war first woman member of congress
    • women in general supported the war
  • The National Woman’s Party was militantly fighting for suffrage
    • Alice Paul compared Wilson to the Kaiser denying democracy, chained herself to white house fence, force fed in prison
women s suffrage1
Women’s Suffrage
  • The combined efforts of women during the war won them suffrage –Wilson finally gave in
    • January 1918 Wilson withdrew his opposition to female suffrage amendment
      • Took until Aug 1920 to have the amendment ratified
      • 72 years after goal of women’s suffrage declared at Seneca Falls in 1848
new faces in the workforce
New faces in the Workforce
  • Mexicans crossed the borders for industrial jobs in southwestern cities (100,000)
  • Women joined workforce in record numbers (one million)
  • Most people believed this would be a temporary change
world war i
World War I

A unit of the Women's Defense League drills in its camp at Washington, D.C. Although some in the women's suffrage movement refused to support the war effort until women were granted the right to vote, other suffragists took a role in mobilizing women into the war effort and used women's support as an argument in favor of their enfranchisement.

Just as women used their participation in the war effort to fight for their rights, African Americans also hoped to use the war to improve their status. Leaders like W. E. B. Du Bois and the NAACP officials protested strongly when initial mobilization plans did not include African Americans.

how did the war affect the u s
How did the war affect the U.S.?
  • Women
  • Women filled factory jobs
  • Women’s war effort helped bring about passage of the 19th Amendment after the war giving women the right to vote.
  • African Americans
  • Black soldiers still served in segregated units.
  • In the “Great Migration” thousands of African Americans moved to the North to work in factories.