Tag Archives: WW II

The Negro Soldier (1944)

Tomorrow is Veteran’s Day 2012 and while surfing the world wide web this weekend, I came upon information about Frank Capra’s “Why We Fight” World War II propaganda film series. Included in this series is the 1944 film, “The Negro Soldier,” that encouraged African-Americans to enlist in the army during World War II. This black & white film is roughly 40 minutes and I’ve embedded it here for your convenience; so check it out!

Due to both high reviews and great cinematography, “The Negro Soldier” proved to be a breakout film that influenced army members and civilians of all races. The film played a considerable part in altering the types of roles that African Americans received in following films by depicting African Americans as lawyers, musicians, athletes, and other valued professions. It was chosen to be preserved in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 2011.

According to International Historic Films, “Langston Hughes hailed it as the most remarkable Negro film ever flashed on the American screen.”

Is it possible this was the film that encouraged (or convinced) many young African Americans to join the fight against Hitler? And do you agree this film played a major role in altering the types of roles African Americans received in films that followed? Hmmmm . . .

Check out the film and let me know your thoughts!