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A War Born FamilyAfrican American Adoption in the Wake of the Korean War$
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Kori Graves

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781479872329

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479872329.001.0001

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African American Soldiers and the Origins of Korean Transnational Adoption

African American Soldiers and the Origins of Korean Transnational Adoption

(p.21) 1 African American Soldiers and the Origins of Korean Transnational Adoption
A War Born Family

Kori A. Graves

NYU Press

African American soldiers took part in the child-centered humanitarian efforts that developed during the Korean War. The efforts that all soldiers made to provide food, clothing, shelter, and educations for Korean children displaced or orphaned by the war received considerable political and media attention. The black press mobilized the stories of black soldiers caring for Korean children to advance the fight for African Americans’ civil rights in the military and throughout US society. However, African American soldiers’ social and sexual relationships with Korean women revealed the ways that many black men exploited vulnerable women in war-torn countries. The children born as a result of these relationships faced punishing exclusions and ostracism because of US and Korean race and gender hierarchies that restricted the legal and social status of black men and the Korean women who associated with soldiers. These ideas would influence the development of Korean transnational adoption and African Americans’ participation in this method of family formation.

Keywords:   Korean War, African American soldiers, black press, civil rights, gender hierarchies

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