Date of Award
Campus Access Thesis
Master of Arts (MA)
The racial tensions and injustices that a segregated army created during World War I and World War II is well-documented by scholars, but academic work tends to ignore the racial tensions in northern civilian and military communities. By focusing on Fort Devens, a military base in Massachusetts, this paper compares the experience of African-American soldiers versus white, European immigrant soldiers and German prisoners-of-war (POWs) on the base during World War I to show that white Americans more closely identified with the European soldiers than African-American soldiers, building stereotypes that carried over into World War II; shows that African-American military personnel during World War I and World War II included more than uneducated, poor African-American male southerner s conscripted into the army; and shows that northern military camps were hotspots of civil rights activities during World War II. These stories show how a segregated army influenced African-American identity, and united many African-Americans in fighting for civil rights in both military and civilian society.
Hubai, Janine, "Fort Devens: Civil Rights Unrest and African-American Identity in a Northern Military Camp during World War I and World War II" (2013). Graduate Masters Theses. 208.