Date of Award

Winter 1-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


War and Society

First Advisor

Dr. Charissa Threat

Second Advisor

Dr. Kyle Longley

Third Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Keene


During the Second World War, African American soldiers were stationed all over the world as part of the American war effort. During these deployments, African Americans encountered a number of white societies, such as those in Britain and Australia, which they generally interacted with cordially. Good relations between African American soldiers and the local white populations angered many white servicemembers, who saw the lack of Jim Crow style segregation as a threat to the racial status quo, and attempted to enforce segregation overseas themselves. These attempts were often resisted fiercely by African American soldiers and the local white populations, both of whom despised such rules being forced upon them. This thesis examines the interactions between American forces and the British and Australian populations during the Second World War through the lens of race. It argues that the deployment of African Americans soldiers overseas left not only an impression on those African Americans who served, but also on Britons and Australians who encountered them. For those African Americans who were deployed in places like Britain and Australia, their experiences with these relatively friendly white societies and the white American soldiers who attempted to enforce segregation outside the United States highlighted the racial inequalities inherent in American society, and strengthened their resolve to fight against inequality. For the Britons and Australians who interacted with African Americans, racial discrimination by white Americans in their own countries lead many to reevaluate their opinions on both racism in the United States and in their own societies. Thus, this thesis expands the boundaries of the wartime struggle for civil rights by bringing the fight for equality into a larger multinational conversation.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Lastname, Firstname Middlename. "Title of Thesis." Master's thesis, Chapman University, Year.



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