Black L.A. 1947: ‘Dark Baby’ Scare Untrue


L.A. Sentinel, 1947

May 22, 1947: The London Daily Mail reported that “5,000 Negro-fathered babies were to be sent” to the U.S., according to the Pittsburgh Courier. The Daily Mail also reported that a ship was being provided to bring the children. Also untrue.

The Courier reported (May 31, 1947) that 22,000 illegitimate children were fathered by American GIs in Britain, including 550 with African American fathers.

“There are an estimated hundred or more babies fathered by Negroes, but whose births have not been recorded or reported by their British mothers, or whose case histories have been kept secret,” the Courier said.

“Complications have arisen in the cases of many Negro fathers who already have wives here and are taking no further interest in their British children,” the Courier said. “There is also an acute shortage of preferred American homes for the half-Negro babies.”

May 31, 1947, Pittsburgh Courier

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1947, African Americans, World War II and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Black L.A. 1947: ‘Dark Baby’ Scare Untrue

  1. I’m shocked to hear that there were 22,000 to 23,000 out-of-wedlock children born, though. Jeez! What the hell happened with all those condoms the soldiers were given? Oh, I just thought to look up the effectiveness rate of condoms (98% if used correctly), and considering there were about 3 million American soldiers in Britain at that time (per the BBC), it seems like they could have all used them perfectly (unlikely) and still ended up with more than twice that many births, complicated by the fact that condoms didn’t have the same sanitary packaging as we have now, so in a weird way you could say the soldiers actually did pretty well! Yikes. But not from the POV of the abandoned mothers and kids, or the wives at home, of course.

    Here’s an interesting blog post on GI condom use, btw:


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