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Integration of the Armed Forces, 1940-1965
This book describes the fall of the legal, administrative, and social barriers to the black American's full participation in the military service of his country. It follows the changing status of the black serviceman from the eve of World War II, when he was excluded from many military activities and rigidly segregated in the rest, to that period a quarter of a century later when the Department of Defense extended its protection of his rights and privileges even to the civilian community. To round out the story of open housing for members of the military, I briefly overstep the closing date given in the title. The work is essentially an administrative history that attempts to measure the influence of several forces, most notably the civil rights movement, the tradition of segregated service, and the changing concept of military efficiency, on the development of racial policies in the armed forces. It is not a history of all minorities in the services. Nor is it an account of how the black American responded to discrimination. A study of racial attitudes, both black and white, in the military services would be a valuable addition to human knowledge, but practically impossible of accomplishment in the absence of sufficient autobiographical accounts, oral history interviews, and detailed sociological measurements. How did the serviceman view his condition, how did he convey his desire for redress, and what was his reaction to social change? Even now the answers to these questions are blurred by time and distorted by emotions engendered by the civil rights revolution. Few citizens, black or white, who witnessed it can claim immunity to the influence of that paramount social phenomenon of our times. At times I do generalize on the attitudes of both black and white servicemen and the black and white communities at large as well. But I have permitted myself to do so only when these attitudes were clearly pertinent to changes in the services' racial policies and only when the written record supported, or at least did not contradict, the memory of those participants who had been interviewed. In any case this study is largely history written from the top down and is based primarily on the written records left by the administrations of five presidents and by civil rights leaders, service officials, and the press. ......Buy Now (To Read More)
Ebook Number: 20587
Author: MacGregor, Morris J.
Release Date: Feb 15, 2007
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