On February 17 1919, the 369th Infantry Regiment famously marched up Fifth Avenue and into Harlem before some 250,000 onlookers. A spirit of determination, inspired by the war, surged throughout black America.
W.E.B. Du Bois voiced such sentiment in the May 1919 Crisis editorial ‘Returning Soldiers’, declaring, “We return. We return from fighting. We return fighting. Make way for Democracy! We saved it in France, and by the Great Jehovah, we will save it in the United States of America, or know the reason why.” Words that echo down the decades.