Patrick Taylor

History - BA (Hons)

I am a history student who has researched the African American Experience in the Vietnam War for my dissertation title. Certain modules such as Twentieth Century America in my 2nd year helped to influence my interest in this sensitive topic.

My research stresses the importance of the Vietnam War in exposing the cracks in the political and social structure of the armed forces. The aim of my paper was to investigate the military experience of African American GI’s from a ground-up perspective and reject the traditional perspective. For African American GI’s the domestic model was slowly being translated in the Armed forces during the Vietnam War.

To achieve this in-depth view, I focused on avenues such as the draft, race relations and the rise of black solidarity. From this, I captured the significant racial issues throughout the armed forces, such as African American men being over-represented in combat roles compared to the white population. This discrimination and institutional racism would lead to an outbreak of racial violence and a rise in race consciousness.