Original Photo[African-Americana] Original hotograph of African-American Soldiers on parade in Holyoke, Massachusetts, circa 1945. Original Silver Gelatin photograph. Approximately 9" x 7.5". African-American soldiers (at least 150) march in uniform down a broad street, while onlookers view the parade from the sidewalk and second floor windows. Undated, but almost certainly World War II. When the Selective Training and Service Act became the nation’s first peacetime draft law in September 1940, civil rights leaders pressured President Franklin D. Roosevelt to allow Black men the opportunity to register and serve in integrated regiments. With a need to shore up the U.S. Armed Forces as war intensified in Europe, FDR decided that Black men could register for the draft, but they would remain segregated. Many were relegated to labor and service units, working as cooks and mechanics, building roads and ditches, and unloading supplies from trucks and airplanes; though a select few were promoted to the rank of Officer within their segregated units. However, as casualties mounted among white soldiers toward the final year of the war, the military had to utilize African Americans as infantrymen, officers, tankers and pilots,m leading to several decisive victories in Europe that were performed by Black troops. Whether as soldiers on the front-lines or as supply divisions, the African-American contribution to World War II was invaluable to the military efforts of the United States. Margins on the right and left hand sides trimmed, old creases. In good condition.