From an article found this morning and translated from french to english...edifying
The difference between the reception of French and segregation imposed by Jim Crow laws in the United States worried American white officers
"In a circular issued in 1919 by William Edward Burghardt Du Bois -a historian and sociologist activist for the civic rights- in the magazine of the NAACP, a French liaison officer advises officers on how to handle black American troops.
The memo, signed by Lt. Col. Jean-Louis Albert Linard, shares of white America's concerns about treatment "familiar and indulgent" received by officers and soldiers in France. According to archivist Benjamin Doizelet, the French officer is not really the author of this document, dictated by the US authorities.
At the time, the units of black American soldiers were affected in France with the French troops. The French were generally welcoming, in socially integrating. The difference between these conditions and segregation imposed by Jim Crow laws in the United States concerned officers and white American soldiers who attempted by many ways to recreate racial separations: by putting up posters "Reserved for whites" in military bases, imposing curfew and enacting other regulations that black soldiers remain in line.
Accusations of rape and cowardice
During World War II, racist rumors that black soldiers were not sufficiently powerful and they represented a danger to French women circulating in abundance. The investigation by William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was just supposed partly refute these allegations. In The Encyclopedia of African American History, the historian Cary De Cordova Wintz wrote that Du Bois' concluded that blacks were often led by officers and NCOs white racists who provided poor leadership and sent troops poorly equipped on the battlefield, then defended by deferring the blame on the black troops. "
Historian Robert Russa Moton added that, at the time deputy director of the Institute Tuskegee -an African American school in Alabama-, went to France in 1918 to investigate the behavior of black troops, and "found that the charges of rape and cowardice [brought against black soldiers] were the subject of a serious exaggeration."
The circular Lieutenant Colonel Linard has probably not been as effective as hoped. Historian Richard Stolkin notes that these instructions "have not fully yielded to the French"; "General Henri Gouraud as continued to praise the effectiveness of black units and were rewarded with the Croix de Guerre." At the end of the war, 171 black American soldiers were decorated with the French Legion of Honour.
The circular, as it appeared in the magazine of the NAACP, is reproduced below in English and French (note the use of the swastika as a decorative element)".
PS : you can click on documents below to enlarge them and have a good reading...