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Abstract

This article addresses two issues: the African-American response to United States involvement in the 1990-91 Persian Gulf war and interrelated factors explaining the nature of that response. Despite the historical symbolism associated with African-American participation and disproportionate representation in the military, African Americans composed the most consistently identifiable strata either opposed to or suspicious of the deployment of U.S. troops and military equipment in the Gulf. The pattern of African-American response to the Gulf War is remarkably similar to its underlying reactions to military conflicts taking place in the recent past, including the Vietnam War and Laos invasion of the 1960s and 1970s. The weight of the evidence suggests African-American public opinion during the Gulf War was not simply part and parcel of a growing national isolationism. Rather, it reflects African America's level of political dissent, tolerance, and antiimperialism.

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