Memorial Day Remembrance: Lynching of Black Veterans After World War II

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Rhapsody in Books Weblog

By the end of the summer of 1945, World War II had come to an end. Over the next several months, many of the twelve million veterans returned home; 880,000 of these were black Americans. They had gone overseas to put their lives at risk in the fight for freedom and democracy, and they come home to find these ideals were not meant for them in their own country.

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Ironically, the Ku Klux Klan became reenergized by the returning black veterans, who wore their uniforms and seemed to know no fear, and thought they could assert their equality. The response of the KKK was a renewal of violence. Some of the more egregious examples:

Sergeant Isaac Woodward, a twenty-seven-year-old black veteran, upon being honorably discharged from Camp Gordon in Augusta, Georgia, was pulled from a public bus (still in his uniform), incarcerated, and during the night, he was beaten so…

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