Thursday, February 25, 2010
How did the "Race Movement" Affect Southern Life?
During WWI, the diminished labor force caused jobs to open up for African Americans all over the country. Many migrated North for new job opportunities. While this movement of African Americans out of th North might seem like it would lessen the impact of a new post-war mentality among African Americans, the impact was still extreme. The "war for democracy" gave African Americans the expectation of democracy at home. They fought to give the people of Europe a voice and felt they had more than earned their own equality. The returning soldiers wanted to be seen as "independent and proud." When they returned home to the South, the racism and meager jobs that awaited them was too large a blow to deal with, leading to violent race conflict. The NAACP continued its work for equal rights but some African Americans didn't think this was enough and instead started the short-lived black nationalism movement hoping for an proud black nation, separate and free from whites. The post-war atmosphere was a disappointment for the black Americans who had so believed in Wilson's beautiful words about freedom and democracy, the return home was truly disillusioning.