Roberts 2014 Hysteria

Title Information

Speaker: Mary Louise Roberts

Title: Rape Hysteria and the Sexual Economy of Race

Subtitle: French Accusations of Sexual Assault against African-American G.I.s, 1944-1946

Institution: Department of History, University of Tennessee at Knoxville

Place: Knoxville, TN

Date: March 25, 2014

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century | French History, U.S. History | Types: Wartime Rape / Second World War

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Additional Information

Speaker: Mary Lou Roberts, Department of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Abstract: »In October 1944, the Army Chief of Police presented a list of crimes committed by G.I.s in France since the landings the previous June. At the top of the list was the offense of rape. According to the Chief's statistics, 152 rapes had been committed by American soldiers in France; of these 139 were supposedly perpetrated by "colored" soldiers. "When we consider that only approximately 10% of the troops on the continent are colored," commented the Chief, "the above figures are astounding." In this way the Chief pointed to the disproportionate number of black soldiers convicted of sexual assault in U.S. military courts. Many more black soldiers were not only accused but also found guilty of rape than were white men. In the years 1944 and 1945, twenty-one public executions by hanging were carried out in France as a result of rape charges. Among the men who met their death by hanging, almost all were African American soldiers. Why were so many rape charges aimed at African American soldiers? How did rape become a "Negro" crime in France? And why were so many more black soldiers than whites executed for the crime of rape? This talk will explore how the French and the Americans became deadly allies in racism, sending innocent men to their death.« (Source: University of Tennessee at Knoxville)

Wikipedia: Rape during the liberation of France, United States war crimes, War rape, World War II

Added: June 7, 2014 | Last updated: June 7, 2014