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Germans and African AmericansTwo Centuries of Exchange$
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Larry A. Greene and Anke Ortlepp

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781604737844

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604737844.001.0001

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Race in the Reich

Race in the Reich

The African American Press on Nazi Germany

(p.70) Race in the Reich
Germans and African Americans

Larry A. Greene

University Press of Mississippi

America’s decision to enter World War II further highlighted the contradictions between the nation’s democratic rhetoric and the reality of its segregated society. These contradictions that gave rise to the modern African American civil rights movement led by an African American press. Because of its transition to fascism and anti-Semitism, the positive image that many African Americans held of Germany turned into a decidedly negative one. The racist Nuremberg Laws of the Third Reich were soon compared with the Jim Crow laws of the southern United States, a comparison that began to proliferate throughout the African American press in the 1930s. This chapter examines how the African American press incorporated this analogy into a sustained campaign for civil rights in the mid-1930s and accelerated with the outbreak of World War II into the postwar period. It looks at the “Double V” campaign initiated by the Pittsburgh Courier in February 1942 and joined by African American newspapers all across the country, arguing that this was the beginning of the modern civil rights movement.

Keywords:   civil rights movement, America, World War II, African American press, fascism, anti-Semitism, African Americans, Germany, Nuremberg Laws, Jim Crow laws

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