The Desegregation of the United States Armed Forces
Bernard and Irene Schwartz Distinguished Speakers Series
Randall Kennedy
Tue, December 18th, 2018 | 6:30 pm
(Members $24)


Prior to World War II, racial discrimination in the armed forces was severe, official, and widespread. The Army imposed a quota to keep the number of African Americans low and effectuated a policy that attempted to avoid situations in which a black service member could dictate orders to whites. The Navy limited African Americans to menial positions. The Marines excluded them altogether. However, by the mid-1950s, the desegregation of the armed forces was well underway, considerably ahead of similar developments in other sectors of society. Discover this important but oft-neglected chapter in American history.

Randall Kennedy is Michael R. Klein Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the author of the forthcoming book From Protest to Law: Triumphs and Defeats of the Black Revolts, 1948–1968.


The Robert H. Smith Auditorium at the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024


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Through the generosity of Bernard and Irene Schwartz, the New-York Historical Society brings a wide array of extraordinary lectures and dynamic conversations to New York’s Upper West Side.

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