Oxford AASC: Photo Essay

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PHOTO ESSAY

African Americans in World War I

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Needham Roberts

Image from: Scott, The American Negro in the World War (1919).

A Boy Scout from Trenton, New Jersey, Needham Roberts was seventeen years old when he and Henry Johnson won their victory over the German attack squad. After receiving the Croix de Guerre with Johnson, Roberts was promoted to sergeant and returned to the United States to receive treatment for the grenade wounds he suffered during the fight. Because of their heroism, both men became celebrities whose pictures were treasured as keepsakes by many African Americans proud of their achievement. This photograph of Roberts was published in The Crisis, vol. 18, no. 1, in May 1919. He is wearing the Croix de Guerre, with Gold Palm, two service stripes, and two wound stripes.

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