Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Contagions of EmpireScientific Racism, Sexuality, and Black Military Workers Abroad, 1898-1948$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Khary Oronde Polk

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781469655505

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469655505.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 27 October 2021

Epilogue

Epilogue

The Long Arc of Black Military Opportunity

Chapter:
(p.213) Epilogue
Source:
Contagions of Empire
Author(s):

Khary Oronde Polk

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469655505.003.0007

The epilogue considers the military writings of William Gardner Smith, and the literary reception of his 1948 novel, Last of the Conquerors. Smith worked as a reporter for the Pittsburgh Courier before he received his draft notice to serve as an occupation soldier in Berlin. While deployed, he continued to write for the Courier as a special correspondent, detailing the injustices faced by Black soldiers abroad under his pen name, Bill Smith. His witness as subject and scribe of the overseas military apparatus offered a counter history to America’s official military record of occupation, and laid the foundation for what would become the familiar narrative told about black soldiering in the postwar era: that military service in the occupied nation was like a “breath of freedom” for African American troops. These contagious narratives of black military freedom and control influenced successive generations of African Americans to join the service, and produced a possibility that had not been possible until the end of World War II: that black men and women might look toward the military service as a career.

Keywords:   William Gardner Smith, Pittsburgh Courier, postwar, occupation, Berlin, freedom, service, opportunity

North Carolina Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .