War and Civil Rights: The Negro Quarterly, 1942-43

Aug 2, 2004

A little over sixty years ago, African Americans faced the question of how to respond to World War II.Most felt there were strong reasons for supporting the war; the question was whether one should concentrate singlemindedly on victory, putting aside all other concerns “for the duration,” or should continue to fight for civil rights during the war. After some inevitable initial confusion broad sections of the African American public came round to the second view, despite inconsistent leadership on the national level and opposition by some major leadership groups. This response was a step toward establishing a politically independent African American movement and toward the emergence of the civil rights movement in the 1950s.

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