All-Black World War I Regiment Featured in New Documentary

At the corner of 35th Street and King Drive in the Bronzeville neighborhood, the Victory Monument honors a little-known chapter of Chicago’s African-American history. The 370th Regiment of the United States National Guard was one of the few black regiments to fight in World War I. A new documentary from filmmaker Mario Tharpe tells this story.

“Fighting On Both Fronts: The Story of the 370th” tells the story of a group of largely unsung heroes—men from Illinois, most from Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood. They fought on two fronts: the war against the Germans and the war against racism and inequality.

The Victory Monument has stood at the corner of 35th and King Drive in Bronzeville since 1927. (Joe Ravi / Wikimedia Commons)The Victory Monument has stood at the corner of 35th and King Drive in Bronzeville since 1927. (Joe Ravi / Wikimedia Commons)

During a period when African-Americans tirelessly fought for basic human and civil rights, these fighting soldiers marched off to war to show their patriotism and loyalty to the U.S. But when they returned from war they realized that, despite their sacrifices, the country still denied them civil rights.

The documentary “Fighting On Both Fronts: The Story of the 370th” airs Friday at 8:30 p.m. on WTTW


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