In 1926, when Carter G. Woodson first established Negro History Week, he thought it would be important to have a theme to focus the public’s attention. 2015 will celebrate “A Century of Black Life, History, and Culture.”
Following the First World War society began to change. The Great War impacted all corners of the world and in the United States it sparked the beginning of a change in the way people acted. During this time of social change a door was opened for those who were willing to walk through and in the African American community many people walked through that door. African Americans of the post-World War I era made modernity their own. This opportunity brought a plethora of cultural gifts and contributions to the world, including jazz, poetry, and an appreciation of African art. African American athletes dominated individual and team sports, changing baseball, track-and-field, football, boxing, and basketball. In a wave of social movements, African American activism transformed race relations, challenged American foreign policy, and became the American conscience on human rights.
- The History Place has an outline of African Americans who served during the Second World War.
- Naval History offers a short biography of Doris “Dorie” Miller, made infamous during Pearl Harbor.
- Fighting For Respect is an insightful article on African Americans during the First World War.
- The Oxford African American Studies Center offers a 12 page photo essay on African Americans during World War One.