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Attitudinal Barriers to Change

Attitudinal Barriers to Change

(p.126) Chapter Seven Attitudinal Barriers to Change
Promises of Citizenship
Kathleen M. German
University Press of Mississippi

This chapter traces the evolution of American racial attitudes and the violence it engendered among civilians and soldiers during World War II. Even though the majority of all Americans supported the role of the United States, the gap in attitudes between blacks and whites remained virtually unaffected throughout the war. Many things undoubtedly account for the different perceptions of the war. In addition to segregation and rampant discrimination, military leadership replicated discrimination and stereotyping in civilian life affecting black perceptions. Whites, convinced of the innate inferiority of blacks, did not want to work or fight with them. Ultimately, the racial frustration of blacks and whites erupted in violence that punctuated periods of apparent calm.

Keywords:   Military leadership, Black inferiority, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, Overseas troop deployment, Racial consciousness

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