Did African Americans benefit from the GI bill?

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The GI Bill of Rights was designed to be "a program to help veterans help themselves" by providing funding and access to veterans for schooling, the purchase of housing, and resources to establish themselves in business. The program made a huge impact upon the society of the United States following World War II, and has continued to impact veterans of succeeding wars as it has been revised and expanded to meet changing needs.

For African American veterans of World War II, however, the GI Bill of Rights did not change the most basic challenge facing them upon discharge - racial discrimination. African American veterans didn't have the same access to higher education programs that white male veterans had because of segregation in educaton and quotas restricting their admittance. African American veterans who hoped to use the GI Bill's benefits to purchase a home often found themselves hampered by "individual racism, as when a white banker or VA loan officer refused to offer or approve of a loan to black applicants simply because of their race.’’

With changes in society and legislation, particularly the Civil Rights bills of the 1960's, African American veterans have been able to take advantage more fully of all the components of the GI Bill.

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