Courtesy of National Archives, "American Red Cross Rest Room for [African American] soldiers and sailors," between 1917 and 1919
This photograph shows African-American soldiers and sailors sitting and standing around a table in an American Red Cross Rest Room specifically outfitted for only African Americans during World War I. This photo was taken at the Red Cross headquarters, Branch No. 6, of the New Orleans Chapter.
- What do you think these soldiers and sailors are doing in this room? What questions do you have about their activity or why they are in this room?
- Why do you think these African-American soldiers and sailors are outfitted with their own rest room?
- What do you believe those individuals who created this room and assigned only African Americans to use this room think about African Americans? If all American soldiers were fighting the same enemy while serving in the same military, why would African Americans be separated into this rest room?
"American Red Cross Rest Room for [African American] soldiers and sailors," between 1917 and 1919. Courtesy of National Archives