African American Troops at Grampound Road 1944

Picture of African American Troops at Grampound Road 1944
view full size

During World War Two, around 130,000 black GIs came to Britain. They were members of the US armed forces, but kept strictly segregated from their white 'colleagues'. For the majority of the resident British population, this was their first exposure to black people en masse and to blatant racism. Public opinion was largely on the side of the black GIs. David Miles in his account of Britain in wartime quotes a West Country farmer who told a reporter from the New Statesman 'I love the Americans - but I don't like those white ones they've brought with them'.