Lament and Hope: A Pan African Quad-Centennial Devotional Guide - Page 22

Lament and
Hope in Angola
A History of
Immigration and
The Tuskegee Airmen is the popular name of a group of African-American military fighter and
bomber pilots who fought in World War II. Photo by Toni Frissell / Library of Congress
The G.I. Bill, formally known as the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, provided military
veterans returning from World War II with many benefits, including low-cost mortgages, high
school or vocational education, college tuition and living expenses, unemployment insurance,
and low-interest loans to start businesses. It is credited with creating the American middle
class by opening homeownership and higher education to millions of World War II veterans.
African American veterans were denied many of its benefits because the legislation failed
to take into account existing discriminatory laws and policies. This has contributed to many
of the ongoing challenges in the African American community, including earning enough
to support a family, putting food on the table, and saving for the future. The middle class
would be larger, the racial wealth gap narrower, and rates of food insecurity among African
Americans lower, if veterans, regardless of race, had benefitted from the legislation.
Source: Bread for the World’s Racial Wealth Gap Policy Packet (
LAMENT and HOPE: A Pan-African Devotional Guide


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