Please discuss the contributions to the war effort during World War II that were made by African Americans as far as working in war industries and in the military. What discrimination did African Americans face in the military? In what ways did the pattern of migration to find employment opportunities change during World War II?

African Americans made significant contributions to the American war effort. About one million served in the military. However, they were almost always kept in segregated units tasked with support roles and usually kept away from more prestigious combat assignments. Many more African Americans worked on the home front, filling important vacancies in the industrial sector. However, they still faced discrimination from white people who did not like the idea of this changing demographic.

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About one million African Americans served in the American armed forces during World War II. They were active in the European and Pacific theaters as well as on the home front. Many more worked in factories to produce goods for the war effort. Some were just looking for jobs in an economy that was still struggling to pull itself out of the Great Depression. However, there was a sense among many African Americans that their contributions to this patriotic effort would help improve their station in a society in which they were usually treated as less than full citizens. They often referred to this effort as the "double-victory campaign." The idea was that they would help defeat fascism overseas through courageous military service while simultaneously fighting against racism and discrimination at home.

Despite the large contribution of African Americans, they still faced large amounts of discrimination. They served in segregated units, sometimes under the command of white officers. They seldom saw combat action. Instead, African American units were usually employed in support, transportation, or labor roles.

Although African American organizers wanted to break down the color barriers in the military, their efforts were resisted by the military leaders. They argued that integrating military units would damage their cohesion and be bad for the morale of white servicemen.

On the home front, many African Americans from the South left for factory jobs in the Midwest, west coast, and northeast. Many new jobs to industrialize the nation for war meant that work opportunities that previously had not been available had opened up. Many Southern African Americans hoped that this move would improve their station as they were leaving the Jim Crow South behind. However, they still faced discrimination. Many white people in these places resented having African Americans move into their neighborhoods. Occasional race riots resulted, such as that in Detroit. Furthermore, African American factory workers were often paid less than their white counterparts.

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