African American Soldiers During World War II

Making a Way Out of No Way:
African American Experience in World War II

NMUSA Image

Lt. Gen. Joseph T. McNarney inspects Honor Guard of 92d Division Military Police.National Archives and Records Administration.

How to register:
We offer two field trip scheduling options:

Audience:
All audiences. Content appropriate for Grades 6-12.

Goal:
Gain a greater understanding of the accomplishments and challenges of African American Soldiers serving during World War II.

Program Description:
Join us to learn more about the African American Soldiers’ journey for equal rights.

Generations of African Americans have served their country, many serving in segregated units and not always given the respect and honor due to them. Although African Americans fought with distinction in World War II, they returned home to a segregated America. In 1948, President Harry Truman issued Executive Order 9981, which called for equal opportunity for all members of the Armed Forces. The segregated Army became a thing of the past and the segregation of American society began to crumble.

A Museum educator will guide the field trip, exploring the commitment, challenges, and bravery of African American Soldiers serving during World War II and examining artifacts, primary resources, and personal accounts.

Objective:
At the end of the lesson, participants will be able to:

  • Note the challenges African American Soldiers faced during World War II.
  • Understand the importance of Executive Order 9981 and its impact on American society.
  • Identify the Double Victory campaign and its importance to the larger civil rights movement.
  • Recognize the service and sacrifice of African American Soldiers during World War II.

Guiding Question:
How did African American military service during World War II contribute to the civil rights movement?

Curriculum Connections:

United States History 1865 to present

  • USII.7.C – The student will apply social science skills to understand the major causes and effects of American involvement in World War II by explaining and evaluating the impact of the war on the home front.
  • USII.8.d- The student will apply social science skills to understand the economic, social, and political transformation of the United States and the world between the end of World War II and the present by describing the changing patterns of society, including expanded education and economic opportunities for military veterans, women, and minorities

Virginia and US History

  • VUS.11.d – The student will apply social science skills to understand World War II by evaluating and explaining how the United States mobilized its economic and military resources, including the role of all-minority units and the contributions of media, minorities, and women to the war effort.

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