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World War II- African Americans
- Home front
- African American Soldiers
- Veterans and Civil Rights
World War II- Home front
The African American Experience During World War II by Drawing on more than thirty years of teaching and research, Neil A. Wynn combines narrative history and primary sources as he locates the World War II years within the long-term struggle for African Americans' equal rights. It is now widely accepted that these years were crucial in the development of the emerging Civil Rights movement through the economic and social impact of the war, as well as the military service itself. Wynn examines the period within the broader context of the New Deal era of the 1930s and the Cold War of the 1950s, concluding that the war years were neither simply a continuation of earlier developments nor a prelude to later change. Rather, this period was characterized by an intense transformation of black hopes and expectations, encouraged by real socio-economic shifts and departures in federal policy. Black self consciousness at a national level found powerful expression in new movements, from the demand for equality in the military service to changes in the shop floor to the "Double V" campaign that linked the fight for democracy at home for the fight for democracy abroad. As the nation played a new world role in the developing Cold War, the tensions between America's stated beliefs and actual practices emphasized these issues and brought new forces into play. More than a half century later, this book presents a much-needed up-to-date, short and readable interpretation of existing scholarship. Accessible to general and student readers, it tells the story without jargon or theory while including the historiography and debate on particular issues.
Call Number: D810.N4 W89 2010 (Downtown, Kent)
Publication Date: 2010-06-16
Roi Ottley's World War II by When black journalist Vincent "Roi" Ottley was assigned to cover the European theater in World War II, he provided a perspective shared by few other war correspondents. But what he really saw has taken more than sixty years to come to light. Already famous as the author of New World A-Coming—in which he decried the hypocrisy of America fighting for freedom in Europe while denying it to blacks at home—Ottley was sent to cover the experiences of African American soldiers that neither white journalists nor the American military felt obliged to report. But while his dispatches documented this assignment, his personal diary reveals a different war—one that included mess hall brawls between Southern white soldiers and their black counterparts, the British public's ignorance toward their own black soldiers, and other subtle glimpses of wartime life that never made it into print. That journal remained buried in a collection of Ottley's papers at St. Bonaventure University until Mark Huddle discovered it in the school's archives. With this book, he offers us a new look at World War II as he brings a forgotten figure out of history's shadow. While Ottley may have had an agenda in his published articles of proving the worth of black soldiers, his diary is rich in personal reflections-from his fears while enduring a bombing raid in London to his true feelings about fellow reporters to his encounters with celebrities such as Ernest Hemingway and Edward R. Murrow. And at every turn Ottley kept a keen eye on race issues, revealing a highly political as well as entertaining writer while reflecting a growing awareness that the African American freedom movement was part of a larger international struggle by peoples of color against Western imperialism. Huddle's introduction frames Ottley's career and contributions, and his annotations throughout the book provide additional context to the reporter's experiences. Huddle also includes thirteen of Ottley's published dispatches to demonstrate the differences between his personal musings and his professional output. The publication of this lost diary restores the reputation of a trailblazing figure, showing that Roi Ottley was both a brilliant writer and one of America's keenest observers of race issues. It offers all readers interested in race relations or World War II a more nuanced picture of life during that conflict from a perspective rarely encountered.
Call Number: D811.5 .O86 2011 (Kent)
Publication Date: 2011-04-12
We Were There by Black Americans have had an ongoing presence in the American military, from the Revolution to the Civil War to Vietnam to the War in Iraq, yet their contributions are often relegated to a footnote of history, if mentioned at all. The recent successes and wide visibility of African Americans in the military -- such as those of Colin Powell and Shoshanna Johnson -- belie a harsh reality: the Army was segregated until the Korean War. Only in the last fifty years have blacks been allowed to serve in a manner commensurate with both their skills and commitment. Now, in a book that honors their service to their country, more than two dozen veterans and military personnel, including Brigadier General Vincent Brooks, one of the foremost spokespersons to the media on the War in Iraq, speak for themselves and their peers about their experiences -- in combat, in the barracks, and in their hometowns after they returned from war. Each profile is accompanied by photographs of the men and women from their days in uniform, as well as specially commissioned contemporary portraits from acclaimed photographer Ron Tarver. With stories of patriotism combined with a determination to overcome obstacles, We Were There is an inspiring account of the extraordinary sacrifices of everyday Americans.
Call Number: E185.63 .W4 2004 (Downtown)
Publication Date: 2004-03-30
Father of the Tuskegee Airmen, John C. Robinson by Across black America during the Golden Age of Aviation, John C. Robinson was widely acclaimed as the long-awaited “black Lindbergh.” Robinson’s fame, which rivaled that of Joe Louis and Jesse Owens, came primarily from his wartime role as the commander of the Imperial Ethiopian Air Force after Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1935. As the only African American who served during the war’s entirety, the Mississippi-born Robinson garnered widespread recognition, sparking an interest in aviation for young black men and women. Known as the “Brown Condor of Ethiopia,” he provided a symbolic moral example to an entire generation of African Americans. While white America remained isolationist, Robinson fought on his own initiative against the march of fascism to protect Africa’s only independent black nation. Robinson’s wartime role in Ethiopia made him America’s foremost black aviator. Robinson made other important contributions that predated the Italo-Ethiopian War. After graduating from Tuskegee Institute, Robinson led the way in breaking racial barriers in Chicago, becoming the first black student and teacher at one of the most prestigious aeronautical schools in the United States, the Curtiss-Wright Aeronautical School. In May 1934, Robinson first planted the seed for the establishment of an aviation school at Tuskegee Institute. While Robinson’s involvement with Tuskegee was only a small part of his overall contribution to opening the door for blacks in aviation, the success of the Tuskegee Airmen—the first African American military aviators in the U.S. armed forces—is one of the most recognized achievements in twentieth-century African American history.
Call Number: eBook
Publication Date: 2012-02-01
Freedom Flyers by As the country's first African American military pilots, the Tuskegee Airmen fought in World War II on two fronts: against the Axis powers in the skies over Europe and against Jim Crow racism and segregation at home. Although the pilots flew more than 15,000 sorties and destroyed more than 200 German aircraft, their most far-reaching achievement defies quantification: delivering a powerful blow to racial inequality and discrimination in American life. In this inspiring account of the Tuskegee Airmen, historian J. Todd Moye captures the challenges and triumphs of these brave pilots in their own words, drawing on more than 800 interviews recorded for the National Park Service's Tuskegee Airmen Oral History Project. Denied the right to fully participate in the U.S. war effort alongside whites at the beginning of World War II, African Americans--spurred on by black newspapers and civil rights organizations such as the NAACP--compelled the prestigious Army Air Corps to open its training programs to black pilots, despite the objections of its top generals. Thousands of young men came from every part of the country to Tuskegee, Alabama, in the heart of the segregated South, to enter the program, which expanded in 1943 to train multi-engine bomber pilots in addition to fighter pilots. By the end of the war, Tuskegee Airfield had become a small city populated by black mechanics, parachute packers, doctors, and nurses. Together, they helped prove that racial segregation of the fighting forces was so inefficient as to be counterproductive to the nation's defense. Freedom Flyers brings to life the legacy of a determined, visionary cadre of African American airmen who proved their capabilities and patriotism beyond question, transformed the armed forces--formerly the nation's most racially polarized institution--and jump-started the modern struggle for racial equality.
Call Number: D790.252 332nd .M69 2010 (South)
Publication Date: 2010-04-14
African American Women WWII
Bitter Fruit by Despite the participation of African American women in all aspects of home-front activity during World War II, advertisements, recruitment posters, and newsreels portrayed largely white women as army nurses, defense plant workers, concerned mothers, and steadfast wives. This sea of white faces left for posterity images such as Rosie the Riveter, obscuring the contributions that African American women made to the war effort. In Bitter Fruit, Maureen Honey corrects this distorted picture of women's roles in World War II by collecting photos, essays, fiction, and poetry by and about black women from the four leading African American periodicals of the war period: Negro Digest, The Crisis, Opportunity, and Negro Story. Mostly appearing for the first time since their original publication, the materials in Bitter Fruit feature black women operating technical machinery, working in army uniforms, entertaining audiences, and pursuing a college education. The articles praise the women's accomplishments as pioneers working toward racial equality; the fiction and poetry depict female characters in roles other than domestic servants and give voice to the bitterness arising from discrimination that many women felt. With these various images, Honey masterfully presents the roots of the postwar civil rights movement and the leading roles black women played in it. Containing works from eighty writers, this anthology includes forty African American women authors, most of whose work has not been published since the war. Of particular note are poems and short stories anthologized for the first time, including Ann Petry's first story, Octavia Wynbush's last work of fiction, and three poems by Harlem Renaissance writer Georgia Douglas Johnson. Uniting these various writers was their desire to write in the midst of a worldwide military conflict with dramatic potential for ending segregation and opening doors for women at home. Traditional anthologies of African American literature jump from the Harlem Renaissance to the 1960s with little or no reference to the decades between those periods. Bitter Fruit not only illuminates the literature of these decades but also presents an image of black women as community activists that undercuts gender stereotypes of the era. As Honey concludes in her introduction, "African American women found an empowered voice during the war, one that anticipates the fruit of their wartime effort to break silence, to challenge limits, and to change forever the terms of their lives."
Call Number: D810.N4 B4 1999 (Downtown, North)
Publication Date: 1999-11-25
Double Victory by Winner of: 2014 Amelia Bloomer Top Ten List “Allow all black nurses to enlist, and the draft won’t be necessary. . . . If nurses are needed so desperately, why isn’t the Army using colored nurses?” “My arm gets a little sore slinging a shovel or a pick, but then I forget about it when I think about all those boys over in the Solomons.” Double Victory tells the stories of African American women who did extraordinary things to help their country during World War II. In these pages young readers meet a range of remarkable women: war workers, political activists, military women, volunteers, and entertainers. Some, such as Mary McLeod Bethune and Lena Horne, were celebrated in their lifetimes and are well known today. But many others fought discrimination at home and abroad in order to contribute to the war effort yet were overlooked during those years and forgotten by later generations. Double Victory recovers the stories of these courageous women, such as Hazel Dixon Payne, the only woman to serve on the remote Alaska-Canadian Highway; Deverne Calloway, a Red Cross worker who led a protest at an army base in India; and Betty Murphy Phillips, the only black female overseas war correspondent. Offering a new and diverse perspective on the war and including source notes and a bibliography, Double Victory is an invaluable addition to any student’s or history buff’s bookshelf. nbsp;
Call Number: D810.N4 M85 2013 (Downtown)
Publication Date: 2013-01-01
Flygirl by Ida Mae Jones dreams of flight. Her daddy was a pilot and being black didn't stop him from fulfilling his dreams. But her daddy's gone now, and being a woman, and being black, are two strikes against her. When America enters the war with Germany and Japan, the Army creates the WASP, the Women's Airforce Service Pilots - and Ida suddenly sees a way to fly as well as do something significant to help her brother stationed in the Pacific. But even the WASP won't accept her as a black woman, forcing Ida Mae to make a difficult choice of 'passing,' of pretending to be white to be accepted into the program. Hiding one's racial heritage, denying one's family, denying one's self is a heavy burden. And while Ida Mae chases her dream, she must also decide who it is she really wants to be.
Call Number: PZ7.S65932 Fl 2008 (Downtown)
Publication Date: 2009-01-22
Our Mothers' War by [PRINT] "Our women are serving actively in many ways in this war, and they are doing a grand job on both the fighting front and the home front." -- Eleanor Roosevelt, 1944 Our Mothers' War is a stunning and unprecedented portrait of women during World War II, a war that forever transformed the way women participate in American society. Never before has the vast range of American women's experience during this pivotal era been brought together in one book. Now, Our Mothers' War re-creates what American women from all walks of life were doing and thinking, on the home front and abroad. Like all great histories, Our Mothers' War began with an illuminating discovery. After finding a journal and letters her mother had written while serving with the Red Cross in the Pacific, journalist Emily Yellin started unearthing what her mother and other women of her mother's generation went through during a time when their country asked them to step into roles they had never been invited, or allowed, to fill before. Drawing on a wide range of sources, including personal interviews and previously unpublished letters and diaries, Yellin shows what went on in the hearts and minds of the real women behind the female images of World War II -- women working in war plants; mothers and wives sending their husbands and sons off to war and sometimes death; women joining the military for the first time in American history; nurses operating in battle zones in Europe, Africa, and the Pacific; and housewives coping with rationing. Yellin also delves into lesser-known stories, including: tales of female spies, pilots, movie stars, baseball players, politicians, prostitutes, journalists, and even fictional characters; firsthand accounts from the wives of the scientists who created the atomic bomb at Los Alamos, African-American women who faced Jim Crow segregation laws at home even as their men were fighting enemy bigotry and injustice abroad, and Japanese-American women locked up as prisoners in their own country. Yellin explains how Wonder Woman was created in 1941 to fight the Nazi menace and became the first female comic book superhero, as well as how Marilyn Monroe was discovered in 1944 while working with her mother-in-law packing parachutes at a war plant in Burbank, California. Our Mothers' War gives center stage to those who might be called "the other American soldiers."
Call Number: D810.W7 Y45 2004 (Deerwood, South)
Publication Date: 2004-05-04