African American World War I Soldiers in Orlando: Where did they live?

Posted on

Entry Composed by Tyler Campbell
Find the original post here.


As a part of the World War I in Florida project we have been looked at the service cards for all soldiers in the state to see what those cards can tell us about the larger social, racial, political, economic and cultural aspects of Florida in this period. The question was presented to a few of us in to group asking where the African American soldiers that served lived in Orlando. (Orlando was our pilot city so we have quite a bit of information on Orlando) This was a questions we had not thought of before and decided to dig a little deeper. On each service card it lists the soldier’s residence. In many cases, this included their street address. Placing these addresses spatially was as simple as plugging the addresses into a google sheets file and running it through google fusion tables. See below.

When the information was collected and applied to the fusion table, we found a clear concentration of their residence within the Paramore area. Some screenshots of those maps are presented below:

The exact residence of these soldiers are pinpointed in this second map that shows the clustering in specific buildings and specific sections of the Paramore community.

The results of this pilot study show the racial divide that existed in Orlando during the World War I era. The Paramore community was active in the effort to get men to enlist from their community. See our Orlando in World War I page for more information on the Orlando community as a whole. These maps provoke a larger discussion of African American involvement in World War I and the racial conflicts of this period. In the future we hope to be able to compare this to the White soldiers addresses for the city of Orlando to create a comparative study of where people were living in the city during this period.

In the end, this was just another great area of study that can come from utilizing this rich primary source material. If you have any questions about the Florida in World War I site or the database, check out our website HERE. or contact me via email HERE.