Fighting for respect
Fascinating images of the Black soldiers who fought for America during WWI
By Chris Pleasance
via the Daily Mail online web site
At the outbreak of the First World War there were just four black regiments in the American military. After the Selective Draft Act was passed, more than a million African American volunteers responded.
By the end of the conflict, just a year later, almost 400,000 black troops have served, many in combat roles. Their role paved the way for future black regiments and the eventual integration of the armed services
These are the striking images that reveal the African-American soldiers of the Great War - who faced racial discrimination even when they simply wanted to fight for their country
When the First World War broke out there were just four 'colored' regiments in the American military, but by the end nearly 370,000 African Americans had served in some capacity - paving the way for future generations.
Over one million African Americans responded to draft calls and the War Department had to stop accepting black volunteers because the quotas for African Americans were filled within a week of Woodrow Wilson's declaration.
These images show crowds of black men lining up to enlist for service in Chicago in 1917 and Ike Sims from Atlanta whose eleven sons drafted for the army.
Meanwhile other photos show African American troops arriving in France, carrying their good luck charms as they head to war and wounded black soldiers receiving chocolates and cigarettes from the Red Cross.
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