Black Soldiers in Jim Crow Texas, 1899-1917 (Centennial by Garna L. Christian

By Garna L. Christian

In Jim Crow Texas, black usual military devices returning victoriously from Cuba and the Philippines collided head-on with neighborhood segregation and bigotry. because the squaddies' expectancies of dignity and appreciate met with racial regulations and indignities from civilian groups, a sequence of violent episodes erupted.

Although confrontations additionally happened in other places, the main infamous have been in Texas, starting with an 1899 conflict among white lawmen in Texarkana and black infantrymen using a troop educate west after arriving from Cuba. the 1st actually violent episode got here in 1906, whilst troops have been accused of attacking Brownsville after civilian provocations. In 1917 a full-scale conflict in Houston ended in fifteen useless and twenty-one injured. among 1899 and 1917, a chain of different face-offs—some related to the complicated relationships of blacks with neighborhood Hispanic populations—occurred whilst black infantrymen stood up for his or her rights or their lives in San Antonio, Laredo, El Paso, Rio Grande urban, Del Rio, and Waco.

This little-known tale, by no means prior to advised in complete, illuminates the collision of racial discrimination with racial delight and divulges once more the petty biases, institutionalized racism, and mutual suspicions that experience divided American society. however it can be a narrative of lofty aspirations too lengthy not on time, of the transformation of a downtrodden race right into a self-confident humans, and of the noble test, in spite of the fact that harmful its potential, to achieve complete citizenship.

Clearly written and impressively researched, Black squaddies in Jim Crow Texas strains the connection of the 4 black army regiments—the twenty fourth and twenty fifth Infantries and the ninth and tenth Cavalries—with white civilian groups within the interval among the Spanish-American battle and international warfare I. Drawn from formerly unexploited assets, it fills a void within the expanding physique of analysis at the black army and illuminates the importance of racial intolerance in early twentieth-century the United States. No different paintings has explored those concerns in such intensity and with such skill.

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Extra resources for Black Soldiers in Jim Crow Texas, 1899-1917 (Centennial Series of the Association of Former Students, Texas a & M University)

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Cortina and other raiders fueled Anglo antipathy of Mexicans, resulting in indiscriminate shootings of suspicious Latinos. Legendary Leander H. S. Army. Mexican President Porfirio Díaz, en route to a thirty-year dictatorship, kept controversy swirling as political opponents in the northern states carried their grievances across the Rio Grande. Yet Díaz, in the opinion of critical Americans, appeared reluctant to use the full force of his authority to quell them, Page 18 perhaps withholding cooperation as a tool for diplomatic recognition.

Enjoying a news monopoly, a publication of the time could, if desired, publicize, neglect, or skew a story in consonance with its editorial views. An exclusive account picked up by other organs presented an especially inviting possibility of shaping public thought. 15 A story of a decorated black unit involved in a disturbance potentially posed a dilemma for a southern editor. Many warmly supported the military, particularly in garrison towns, where federal construction and payrolls enhanced local revenue.

35 Other witnesses recounted the attempted apprehension of the soldier and his flight, with some confusion on detail. Some disagreement arose on the point of the contact between the arresting officer, Rochelle, and the wanted man. One witness remembered the constable escorting the prisoner to the depot; others repeated the majority view that Rochelle arrested him at the station. There was also a lack of unanimity on whether the constable spotted the subject, apparently the mulatto in question, or was directed by an accuser.

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