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  1. The racial integration of the American armed forces : Cold War necessity, presidential leadership, and Southern resistance

    Jensen, Geoffrey W., 1975-
    Lawrence, Kansas : University Press of Kansas, [2023]

    "Geoffrey Jensen brings clarity to our understanding of the political processes that fundamentally altered the racial composition of the American military. Black men had always served in American wars, but beginning with the Civil War, their service had been in segregated units. The US military was not integrated until after World War II. During the nearly thirty years under examination in this book, racial integration and reform of the military needed to occur to protect the nation's image during a largely ideological struggle. America's racial woes were grist for the propaganda mills in Moscow. But integration of the armed forces needed more than just Cold War justification. It required the willingness of the president to lead from the top. Military integration occurred as the result of the longstanding tradition of Congress to allow the executive branch to control the staffing and composition of the military. Jensen contends that understanding the action, or inaction, of US presidents and presidential administrations matters equally as much as understanding the efforts of those outside of Washington and the West Wing, as it was the presidents who were the ones dictating the pace, whether rapid or gradual, from with which reform was carried out"--

  2. Black Yanks in the Pacific : race in the making of American military empire after World War II

    Green, Michael Cullen, 1977-
    Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2010.

    By the end of World War II, many black citizens viewed service in the segregated American armed forces with distaste if not disgust. Meanwhile, domestic racism and Jim Crow, ongoing Asian struggles against European colonialism, and prewar calls for Afro-Asian solidarity had generated considerable black ambivalence toward American military expansion in the Pacific, in particular the impending occupation of Japan. However, over the following decade black military service enabled tens of thousands of African Americans to interact daily with Asian peoples-encounters on a scale impossible prior to 1945. It also encouraged African Americans to share many of the same racialized attitudes toward Asian peoples held by their white counterparts and to identify with their government's foreign policy objectives in Asia. In Black Yanks in the Pacific, Michael Cullen Green tells the story of African American engagement with military service in occupied Japan, war-torn South Korea, and an emerging empire of bases anchored in those two nations. After World War II, African Americans largely embraced the socioeconomic opportunities afforded by service overseas-despite the maintenance of military segregation into the early 1950s-while strained Afro-Asian social relations in Japan and South Korea encouraged a sense of insurmountable difference from Asian peoples. By the time the Supreme Court declared de jure segregation unconstitutional in its landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, African American investment in overseas military expansion was largely secured. Although they were still subject to discrimination at home, many African Americans had come to distrust East Asian peoples and to accept the legitimacy of an expanding military empire abroad.


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