War, civil rights, and higher education: African American Vietnam veterans,the civil rights era, and the G.I. Bill

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Alabama Libraries

The story of Black veterans and their experience in the Vietnam War is one of little investigation especially with regard to those who are from the state of Alabama. This study particularly focuses on the experiences of African American Vietnam War veterans from the state of Alabama. The observations are based on the educational, occupational, and day-to-day life experiences of a select group of Vietnam veterans from Alabama upon their return home. By focusing on the domestic experiences of these veterans upon their return, this study scrutinizes how the ongoing civil rights conflicts of the time impacted their lives. More specifically, the objective of this investigation is to analyze the influence and impact of the 1966, 1972, and 1974 iterations of the G.I. Bill from the first-hand perspective of study participants. Their experiences, viewed through the lens of historical narratives, provide insight into the untold obstacles they faced such as attainment of educational and occupational benefits as well as coping with the generally hostile treatment that an African American veteran endured in his community upon discharge from the military. A proper examination of the domestic experiences of the Black servicemen during a time of Jim Crow, the fight for civil rights, and a divided nation, provides a lasting voice for those who have not had the chance to tell their story until now.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Higher education