Date Thesis Awarded

5-2008

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

History

Advisor

Chandos Michael Brown

Committee Member

Hiroshi Kitamura

Committee Member

Arthur Knight

Abstract

Although African Americans continually reconstructed their perceptions of the Japanese throughout the Great Depression and World War II, these changing views were formed in the context of their own positions within the United States. During the 1930s, with the exception of the Communist Movement, the African American press and other intellectuals generally regarded Japan as a consequential nation challenging existing international relations and creating expectations of a new paradigm of racial equity on the world stage. Although some key intellectuals still maintained hope that Japan would serve as a leader for the "Colored races," Japan's aggressive invasion of China in 1937 was largely viewed as indicative of Japan's opportunistic imperial desires, no different from those of the European powers. Overall, African American servicemen in the Pacific, while tending to be less racially prejudiced than their Caucasian counterparts towards the Japanese enemy, still regarded the Japanese as a dangerous and ruthless opponent and not as a possible liberator from discrimination in the segregated American military or society at large. African American servicemen in the Occupation of Japan reconstructed their conceptions of the Japanese based on their comparatively colorblind reception as occupiers, which ultimately led to a growing sense of dissatisfaction with discrimination upon return to the United States.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Comments

Thesis is part of Honors ETD pilot project, 2008-2013. Migrated from Dspace in 2016.

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