Black Yanks in the Pacific: Race in the Making of American Military Empire after World War II by Michael Cullen GreenBlack Yanks in the Pacific: Race in the Making of American Military Empire after World War II by Michael Cullen Green

Black Yanks in the Pacific: Race in the Making of American Military Empire after World War II

byMichael Cullen Green

Hardcover | September 2, 2010

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By the end of World War II, many black citizens viewed service in the segregated American armed forces with distaste if not disgust. Meanwhile, domestic racism and Jim Crow, ongoing Asian struggles against European colonialism, and prewar calls for Afro-Asian solidarity had generated considerable black ambivalence toward American military expansion in the Pacific, in particular the impending occupation of Japan. However, over the following decade black military service enabled tens of thousands of African Americans to interact daily with Asian peoples—encounters on a scale impossible prior to 1945. It also encouraged African Americans to share many of the same racialized attitudes toward Asian peoples held by their white counterparts and to identify with their government's foreign policy objectives in Asia.

In Black Yanks in the Pacific, Michael Cullen Green tells the story of African American engagement with military service in occupied Japan, war-torn South Korea, and an emerging empire of bases anchored in those two nations. After World War II, African Americans largely embraced the socioeconomic opportunities afforded by service overseas—despite the maintenance of military segregation into the early 1950s—while strained Afro-Asian social relations in Japan and South Korea encouraged a sense of insurmountable difference from Asian peoples. By the time the Supreme Court declared de jure segregation unconstitutional in its landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, African American investment in overseas military expansion was largely secured. Although they were still subject to discrimination at home, many African Americans had come to distrust East Asian peoples and to accept the legitimacy of an expanding military empire abroad.

Michael Cullen Green received a PhD in American History from Northwestern University. He lives in Chicago.
Title:Black Yanks in the Pacific: Race in the Making of American Military Empire after World War IIFormat:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.87 inPublished:September 2, 2010Publisher:Cornell University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801448964

ISBN - 13:9780801448966

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Everyday Racial Politics in a Military Empire
Chapter 1: Reconversion Blues and the Appeal of (Re)Enlistment
Chapter 2: The American Dream in a Prostrate Japan
Chapter 3: The Public Politics of Intimate Affairs
Chapter 4: A Brown Baby Crisis
Chapter 5: The Race of Combat in Korea
Epilogue: Military Desegregation in a Militarized World
Selected Bibliography

Editorial Reviews

"Michael Cullen Green has written a fascinating and illuminating work. It opens a new window on the experiences of African Americans in joining armed services that over time became much more integrated than most American institutions, suffering racial discrimination nonetheless, and then coming to terms with the prejudices against Asians that they typically shared with whites. The paucity of similar accounts gives this book an unusual interest and provenance." - Bruce Cumings, Chair, History Department, and Gustavus F. and Ann M. Swift Distinguished Service Professor, University of Chicago, author of Dominion From Sea to Sea: Pacific Ascendancy and American Power