Project

The US Army and the Problem of Race, 1965-1985

Program

ACLS Grants-In-Aid , ACLS Fellowship Program

Department

History

Named Award

ACLS Oscar Handlin Fellow

Abstract

This project, about the US Army’s struggles with the problem of race during the Vietnam era and the following decade, explains how a large and powerful institution, under great pressure and subject to great scrutiny, tried to solve a key problem of the age. It moves from two key premises: the history of US race relations cannot be understood without incorporating the role of the military; and how the army rebuilt itself post-Vietnam cannot be understood without understanding the role of race. Showing how diverse actors fought to shape military responses to racial crisis, this project analyzes the origins of racial turbulence in a domestic and international context and focuses on military justice and incarceration, "sensitivity training," cultural nationalism and consumer goods, and affirmative action.