Torchbearers of Democracy: African American Soldiers in the World War I Era

Torchbearers of Democracy: African American Soldiers in the World War I Era

Chad Williams / Oct 20, 2019

Torchbearers of Democracy African American Soldiers in the World War I Era On April Woodrow Wilson thrust the United States into World War I by declaring The world must be made safe for democracy For the African American soldiers who fought and labored in t

  • Title: Torchbearers of Democracy: African American Soldiers in the World War I Era
  • Author: Chad Williams
  • ISBN: 9781469609850
  • Page: 217
  • Format: Paperback
  • On April 2, 1917, Woodrow Wilson thrust the United States into World War I by declaring, The world must be made safe for democracy For the 380,000 African American soldiers who fought and labored in the global conflict, these words carried life or death meaning Relating stories bridging the war and postwar years, spanning the streets of Chicago and the streets of HarleOn April 2, 1917, Woodrow Wilson thrust the United States into World War I by declaring, The world must be made safe for democracy For the 380,000 African American soldiers who fought and labored in the global conflict, these words carried life or death meaning Relating stories bridging the war and postwar years, spanning the streets of Chicago and the streets of Harlem, from the battlefields of the American South to the battlefields of the Western Front, Chad L Williams reveals the central role of African American soldiers in World War I and how they, along with race activists and ordinary citizens alike, committed to fighting for democracy at home and beyond Using a diverse range of sources, Williams connects the history of African American soldiers and veterans to issues such as the obligations of citizenship, combat and labor, diaspora and internationalism, homecoming and racial violence, New Negro militancy, and African American historical memories of the war Democracy may have been distant from the everyday lives of African Americans at the dawn of the war, but it nevertheless remained a powerful ideal that sparked the hopes of black people throughout the country for societal change Torchbearers of Democracy reclaims the legacy of black soldiers and establishes the World War I era as a defining moment in the history of African Americans and peoples of African descent broadly.

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      217 Chad Williams
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      Posted by:Chad Williams
      Published :2019-07-06T03:30:58+00:00

    About "Chad Williams"

      • Chad Williams

        Chad Williams is an associate professor in the History Department at Hamilton College He received his BA in History and African American Studies from UCLA and his MA and Ph.D in History from Princeton University His teaching and research interests include World War I, race, war and society, African American intellectual history and the African diaspora Chad s first book, Torchbearers of Democracy African American Soldiers in the World War I Era University of North Carolina Press, 2010 has won the Society for Military History 2011 Distinguished Book Award for United States History and the Organization of American Historians 2011 Liberty Legacy Foundation Award for best book on the struggle for civil rights in the United States.


    450 Comments

    1. In general a good survey of the subject, split into wartime and post-war sections. The focus on the experience of troops who went to France is natural, though I suspect more could have been done with those units that stayed in the US and with the Regular units. I suspect that Williams could use a better grounding in the history of the pre-war colored regiments. A bit more time could also be spent on the history of the various black National Guard units, particulary the 8th Illinois and the 1st D [...]


    2. This was amazing, I hope to go back and reread when I'm not reading it for a graduate seminar. I had to skim in a few places I really would have preferred to enjoy and read more thoroughly.



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