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History Research Guide - World War II: Minorities

A guide to the resources available in the library on World War II.

Books in the Library

Possible Topics

Here are some topic questions to help you get started on your paper.

Several minority groups participated in World War II. What groups fought for the Allies in World War II? What treatment did each group recieve? Compare and contrast treatment of different minority groups. What can we learn about their different treatment? What does this tell us about racial attitudes in the U.S. in World War II? Did minorities fight in other countries? What roles did they serve? What does that reveal about the racial attitudes of the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, etc.

Why did Japanese-Americans choose to fight in the U.S. Army? Were they forced by the U.S.? How? What role did they serve in the Army? How were they treated by commanders and fellow soldiers?

What role did Native Americans serve in World War II? What treatment did they recieve overseas? Did they ever experience fighting? How were they treated by commanders and fellow soldiers?

What role did African Americans serve in World War II? How were they treated by their commanders? How were they treated by white soldiers from the North? From the South? How were they treated by Allied soldiers? Did they get to experience any fighting in the war? Why wouldn't commanders allow them to fight in most situations? How were the veterans treated after the war?

Online Resources

Full-length Portrait of an African American Man


Members of the U.S. Army Air Corps’ Legendary 99th Pursuit Squadron, the Tuskegee Airmen... photographed by Gabriel Benzur. Courtesy of Time Life.