The fact that Negroes were confined to the more menial positions in the armed forces was what irritated Afro-Americans the most. The Negro army units were obviously going to be led by white officers. The Marine Corps was still not accepting any Negroes in its ranks at all. Complaints again began to pour into Washington.
Also, many states in the Northwest passed laws prohibiting or limiting the migration of Afro-Americans into their territory. An Illinois law said that anyone who entered the state illegally could be whipped and sold at auction.
Thousands of Afro-Americans had been moving again from the South into the North to fill vacant jobs in war industry, and this was resented by local white residents. Before the Detroit riot ended, twenty-five Negroes and nine whites had been killed. President Roosevelt had to send in federal troops to quell the disturbance.
Alas, the porter is afraid of the "guest," and all guests are afraid of the clerk, and the proprietor is never seen, and the Afro-Americans in the dining-room are stupid, and the chambermaid does not answer the ring, and at last the weary wanderer hies him to the barroom and soon discovers that the worthy "barkeep" has nothing to recommend him but his diamond-pin.
Nevertheless, Singleton took pride in his work, and he claimed, probably with some exaggeration, to have been responsible for transporting some 82,000 Afro-Americans from the South into Kansas. Another ex-slave, Henry Adams, called a New Orleans Colored Convention in 1879 to examine the condition of the ex-slave throughout the South. A comittee was formed for this purpose.
Once the U.N. was organized and in operation, several other Afro-Americans worked for it in a number of ways.
In the long run, both black and white labor benefited from the Wagner Act. Finally, the New Deal failed to extend its program to include either agricultural or domestic workers. These were areas in which Afro-Americans were employed in unusually high proportions, and this meant that a large portion of the Afro-American community was not covered by this legislation.
Although this might not change the status of an adult slave, he knew his children, when they reached maturity, would be free. This meant that the important issue in the North was that of identity. What would be the place of Negroes who were not fully accepted as Americans? While Northern states were willing to grant freedom to the Afro-Americans, they continued to view them as inferiors.
The Allies depicted themselves as being the champions of freedom and humanity while they portrayed their enemies as tyrants and barbarians. Afro-Americans were painfully aware of some of the imperfections in this simple dichotomy. While aghast at the racist teachings propagated by Germany, they could not forget the racism which confronted them daily within the United States.
Inspired by the migration of Afro-Americans from the South into the North and West as well as by the gigantic immigration of South and East Europeans, the Klan, beginning in Georgia, rapidly spread beyond the South into a national movement. Confidently believing in the superiority of its own democratic way of life, America had thrown open its doors to the hungry and oppressed of Europe.