Explain the meaning of the "Double V" campaign and describe what changes it achieved.

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Double V Campaign was used in World War II. It was aimed at African-Americans, and it first appeared in an African-American newspaper, the Pittsburgh Courier, in 1942. The Double V Campaign worked to have a victory over racism abroad and racism in the United States.

In World War II, we were fighting against Germany, Japan, and Italy. Germany had strong beliefs about the supremacy of the Aryan race. There was a concerted effort by the Germans to kill people who weren’t Aryan. The Germans especially targeted the Jews. Our soldiers were fighting to defeat this form of racism. We were fighting to defeat non-democratic governments also.

At home, African-Americans faced discrimination and racism. They weren’t allowed to attend the same schools as whites. They had to sit in separate sections on buses and in separate train cars. African-Americans fought in segregated units in the army. They also faced discrimination in getting hired in federal defense plants. Thus, they also were fighting to show that the reasons why we were fighting in Europe also existed in the United States. They were fighting to end racism in the United States also.

A. Philip Randolph threatened to lead a march on Washington in 1942 unless the federal government ended the discrimination in hiring workers in federal defense plants. President Roosevelt didn’t want any public protests against the war, as he feared that would send the wrong message to the Axis Powers. He signed an executive order ending discrimination in hiring workers in federal defense plants. When Truman was president, army units were integrated.

The Double V Campaign was an important cause for African-Americans in World War II, and there were some positive results from it.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Double V program was started by the Pittsburgh Courier, which was a newspaper for African Americans.  It emphasized fighting for two goals -- victory over our enemies in the war and victory over the enemies of black people at home.

The campaign (or something) was pretty successful because there were a lot of changes made to make the war effort fairer to blacks.

The biggest win that was achieved during the war was FDR's excutive order 8802 that set up the Fair Employment Practices Committee.  This was meant to ensure that there was no discrimination in the war effort.  It was of course not completely successful, but it did enough that the Courier stopped writing angry articles and started to write articles that were more positive.