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No photo available Lucille B. Milner
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Lucille B. Milner, "Jim Crow in the Army." The New Republic,
March 13, 1944.

A corporal writes from the Deep South: "... It is no secret that the Negro soldier in the South is as much persecuted as is his civilian brother; the conditions existing in this Godforsaken hold which is Camp... are intolerable, and may be considered on a par with the worst conditions throughout the South since 1865."

Certain inequalities may not seem important until you think what they mean to soldiers: post movie theatres and post exchanges barring Negroes in some camps and segregating them in others; guest accommodations for whites only in Southern camps; the fact that in many parts of the South Negro MP's may not carry arms as the whites do; exclusion from the white USO even when none exists for the colored men; overwhelming and widespread troubles about transportation in buses and trains. Candidates for commissions in a few of the training schools may eat, sleep and study together without regard to color—but what then? The white officer is soon sent overseas, the colored officer is apt to be transferred to another camp for "further training." The practice seems to be to keep the Negroes, as far as possible, from overseas duty, to use them at their lowest rather than their highest skills and to retard promotion.

Copyright © 1944 The New Republic.  Selected from the Library of America anthology.  See  Reporting  Civil  Rights:  American Journalism 1941-1963.