Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6 x 9
978-0-7425-7044-3 • Paperback • December 2014 • $34.00 • (£26.00) - Currently out of stock. Copies will arrive soon.
978-0-7425-7045-0 • eBook • April 2011 • $32.00 • (£25.00)
Nina Mjagkij is professor of history at Ball State University. She serves as coeditor of Rowman & Littlefield's African American History Series, as well as director of Ball State's African-American Studies Program.
Chapter 1: The Land of Jim Crow: African Americans at the Eve of World War I
Chapter 2: From Field to Factory: The Wartime Migration of African Americans
Chapter 3: Fighting to Fight: The Struggle for Black Officers and Combat Soldiers
Chapter 4: Raising a Jim Crow Army: The Mobilization and Training of African American Troops
Chapter 5: Over There: African American Soldiers in France
Chapter 6: Closing Ranks? African Americans on the Home Front
Epilogue: Returning to Racism
Add this title to the expanding number of books now studying the African American experience in World War I, in which almost 370,000 African Americans served in combat.
— Library Journal
Loyalty in Time of Trial is an excellent overview of the African American experience, 'over there' and on the home front, during World War I. It is a well-written, thoughtful, and balanced account, making good use of the proliferating scholarship on the U.S. role in the war and on the efforts of African Americans to redeem the conflict's democratic promise. Nina Mjagkij has produced a book that is both accessible to students and general readers and a contribution to the scholarly literature.
— Robert H. Zieger, University of Florida, author of America’s Great War: The American Experience in World War I
Dealing as much with life on the home front as on the battlefield, Loyalty in Time of Trial succinctly and imaginatively explores the many ways in which World War I impacted African Americans. Placing the wartime experience in the broad context of black aspirations for equality and the changed racial circumstances resulting from urbanization, Mjagkij's study provides a comprehensive overview of an important turning point in African American history.
— Kenneth L. Kusmer, Temple University, author of Down and Out, On the Road: The Homeless in American History
African Americans have served in virtually every US war from the Revolution to the present. But their loyalty has not always been appreciated or rewarded. This was never more the case than during and after WW I. Historian Mjagkij (Ball State Univ.) meticulously describes the feudal world of the Jim Crow South with its sharecropping, lynching, and segregation on the eve of the war. During the war, more than 2 million African Americans reported to draft boards, and nearly 370,000 were inducted into the military. Black Americans hoped that loyalty to country and sacrifice on the battlefield would reinforce claims for equal rights once the war ended. Black soldiers served valiantly in segregated black units, but were routinely mistreated by white soldiers and subjected to atrocious conditions. African American soldiers returned home to lynchings and a wave of race riots. White supremacists such as Theodore Bilbo proclaimed 'This is strictly a white man's country,' and others insisted that the 'Negro' would have no more after the war than he had before. For African Americans, WW I was an experience of bitter betrayal. An excellent companion to Freedom Struggles (CH, Sep'10, 48-0473) by Adriane Lentz-Smith.
— Choice Reviews
Nina Mjagkij painstakingly describes the frustration, sometimes anger, and frequent courage demonstrated by southern and northern African Americans in their attempts to include themselves in the national crusade of making the world safe for democracy. Although interested generalists will know the outline of the story, they, as well as specialists, will gain from the clarity and detail of the writing....Loyalty in Time of Trial is one of the most comprehensive treatments of the race issue in the early twentieth century that this reader has seen. I highly recommend it.
— Journal of Southern History
Thoroughly researched and carefully crafted, this balanced and eminently readable work is replete with enough facts and figures to satisfy the more pernickety Great War buff. It is aimed at a general audience as a timely reminder of how and where the great Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s got its start.
— The Western Front Association
Nina Mjagkij’s Loyalty in Time of Trial deftly demonstrates that for African Americans, U.S. history has been anything but a linear story of progress toward greater and greater freedom. This brief (147 pages of text) and nicely written overview. ... Loyalty in Time of Trial covers familiar territory. It examines how discrimination, segregation, economic exploitation, political disfranchisement, legal oppression, government neglect, petty humiliations, and violence shaped the lives of African Americans in all regions of the country. At the same time, it also describes unrelenting efforts by black elites, the influential black middle class, black self-help organizations, black newspapers, black professionals, and black colleges to design and sustain pragmatic programs to effect racial advancement in spite of President Woodrow Wilson’s callous indifference to entrenched racism in American society.
— Journal of American Ethnic History