Oxford AASC: Photo Essay

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PHOTO ESSAY

African Americans in World War I

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Max Killie, WWI Vet

Courtesy of the Library of Congress

African American soldiers fought nobly in the war but were usually better recognized by foreign governments than by the United States. Many, in fact, received a hostile and violent reception after the pomp and circumstance ended and they returned to their former lives. Despite the hopes of many black soldiers and volunteers, race relations in America were not improved by African American sacrifices in the Great War. Of the 382 known black lynching victims between 1914 and 1920, some were recently discharged soldiers still wearing their uniforms. Still, black veterans were rightfully proud of their service. This picture from 1941 shows Mr. Max Killie at his home in Heard County, Georgia, beside a picture of himself in his World War I uniform.

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