Posted by: Trina | September 16, 2009

Intersection of Black GIs, civil rights, Germany, and the U.S. to be examined in Intl. Conference

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY — Since 1945, almost three million African American soldiers have served tours of duty in Germany, including Colin Powell (in 1958), who later wrote in his memoir that, “[For] black GIs, especially those out of the South, [post-World War II] Germany was a breath of freedom — they could go where they wanted, eat what they wanted, date whom they wanted, just like other people.” Yet the social impact in both Germany and the U.S. from the deployment of these soldiers, particularly in relation to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s, has only recently begun to be examined by scholars.

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