African-American Participation in the Italo-Ethiopian War, Blog Post #4


An Overview of African-American Reactions and Contributions to the Italo-Ethiopian War

In my final paper, I’ve presented this information a little different than I did in my blog posts, so bear with me for a second. If you’ve been following my (very long) posts, you’ll see that I first talked about the military and diplomatic history of the war, then focused on an analysis of Ethiopia-related memoirs. In my actual paper, I first talk about the military and diplomatic history of the war, then I provide some background on African-American reactions. After this background, I provide analysis on two subjects: memoirs of individuals who were in Ethiopia during the war (this is the subject of my previous blog post) and then a comparison between two Northern and Southern African-American newspapers. Basically, even though this is my third content-related blog post, this actually chronologically comes second in the way I present my paper.

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African-American Participation in the Italo-Ethiopian War: Blog Post 3 (Memoirs)

Over the past week, I’ve discovered a not-so-surprising fact about library research: is it is very easy to get sidetracked. Remember how I said that my next blog post would be summing up African-American reactions to the war? Well, before I began  to compile my notes on African-American reactions into a cohesive blog post, I decided to check the secondary source accounts against memoirs of individuals who were in Ethiopia at the time of the war. My goal in doing so was to evaluate how the efforts of African-Americans actually affected life during the war, as seen through the eyes of individuals on the ground. Unfortunately, my selection of sources available was not great, and I ended up just consulting three memoirs for this stage of the research: the two-volume memoirs of Emperor Haile Selassie I, the recollections of John H. Spenser, an American lawyer who served as an advisor to the Ethiopian emperor until the 1970s, and the somewhat unreliable memoir of Wynant Hubbard, a rather racist American war correspondent who remained in Ethiopia for some of the crisis.

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African American Participation in the Italo-Ethiopian War- Blog Post #1

In the week or so that I’ve been doing my research on African-American participation in the Italo-Ethiopian War, I’ve discovered a very important fact about historical research: it’s messy. It doesn’t always go the way that you’ve planned.

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