A Little Bit Of History: The Harlem Hellfighters
When America decided in 1917 to join World War I, both black and white men were drafted into the war. However, because of the 14th Amendment, which at the time allowed for separate but equal treatment, the two races would never fight together in the trenches. It was during this period that the all-black 369th Infantry Regiment was born. Also known as the Harlem Hellfighters, the men were sent to fight with French allies on the Western Front. In the beginning they were given only menial tasks, but as the war progressed, the 369th fought alongside the French, Moroccan and Senegalese soldiers. In the end, they fought longer than any other American unit, spending over six months at a time in combat. To learn more, watch William Miles' 1977 documentary, Men of Bronze.