This introduction provides a framework for considering America’s military conscription of gender, racial, and sexual difference in the early to mid-twentieth century, and the unique role Black military workers played in the extension of U.S. empire. Beginning with the definition of militarism as conceived by Alfred Vagts, the author makes an appeal for both conservative and progressive scholars to focus on the study of the military. Immunity and contagion are introduced as key terms used to analyze the movement of African American soldiers around the world, and to show how their quests for citizenship rights was burdened by antiblack racism. A chapter breakdown demonstrates how race, nation, masculinity, and sexuality are important subjects in the archive of American militarism, and argues that a new chapter of African American life was brought into being through the imperial conscription of racial, gender, and sexual difference.
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