MILITARY BRATS: A Living Study in Race Relations

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Virginia Tech


In 1948, President Harry Truman issued Executive Order 9981, desegregating the United States military. Much has been written about the Order's effect on soldiers; almost none about the powerful effect it has had on generations of military children, who began living in the same neighborhoods and attending the same schools, churches, and playgrounds twenty years before the Civil Rights Movement exploded. Racist speech was also prohibited and defiant children were immediately reported to their parent's commanding officer, who could reprimand or demote their parent. How did this shape the racial attitudes and identity of military children? How have they benefitted and what have been the biggest challenges transitioning out of the military? How might their experiences provide a window into possible solutions for other areas torn by racial strife? These are just a few of the questions "Military Brats: A Living Study in Race Relations" will discuss.



Military brats, Integration, Experiment, Generational, ViS, Veterans in Society, Race and/or Reconciliation, the Third Conference on Veterans in Society