The unknown soldiers: African-American troops in World War I

During World War I 370,000 African Americans labored, fought, and died to make the world safe for a democracy that refused them equal citizenship at home. The irony was made more bitter as black troops struggled with the racist policies of the American military itself. The overwhelming majority were assigned to labor companies; those selected for combat were undertrained, poorly equipped, and commanded by white officers who insisted on black inferiority. Still, African Americans performed admirably under fire: the 369th infantry regiment was in continuous combat longer than any other American unit, and was the first Allied regiment to cross the Rhine in the offensive against Germany. This book chronicles the rigid segregation; the limited opportunities for advancement; the inadequate food, medical attention, housing, and clothing; the verbal harassment and physical abuse, including lynchings; the ingratitude, unemployment, and unprecedented racial violence that greeted their return."--Back cover.