When the United States entered World War One on April 6, 1917, African Americans viewed the conflict as an occasion to demonstrate their loyalty to the nation as soldiers and civilians. As in previous wars, Black service stemmed from the desire to gain greater civil rights and equality under the law. Black Regulars expected to see action in Europe. Instead they were stationed at outposts on the southern border and through the west and missed the war. The War Department authorized the formation of two all-Black volunteer infantry divisions. The 92nd Infantry Division and the 93rd Infantry Division saw combat during the war. Over 350,000 African Americans served in the war,1,300 of them were officers.
Last updated: May 24, 2022