The Veterans History Project (VHP) is proud to offer a new online exhibit, part of our vast array of curated thematic presentations collectively known as Serving: Our Voices. Previously known as Experiencing War, these exhibits are part of VHP’s new website, which debuted Veterans Day 2022. These presentations provide users with a specially selected set of collections centered on a particular theme, offering immediate access to content-rich oral histories and other original primary-source materials.
The newest installment of Serving: Our Voices focuses on the experiences of African American women who served during World War II. Titled “Determined to Serve: African American Women in World War II,” the presentation explores the stories of 15 veterans who served stateside and abroad, from the Arizona desert to the boulevards of France.
Sixty-one years ago this month, on February 1, 1961, the “Friendship Nine” – a group of African American college students at Friendship Junior College - adopted an unorthodox tactic termed “Jail, No Bail” during their appearance on trespassing charges in a Rock Hill, South Carolina court. The group had been arrested the previous day for trying to get service at a segregated lunch counter in the city (in other words, they staged a “sit-in”). Rather than paying a fine for violating a public ordinance, as was the norm, they chose instead to serve out their sentence of thirty days of hard labor on a county chain gang. In commemoration of Black History Month, my post today (number 999 in AFC blog history!) reaches into the Civil Rights History Project collection to illuminate this facet of the civil rights era as recollected by veteran activists.
The following is a guest blog post by Nathan Cross, an archivist for the American Folklife Center. This African American History Month, the Veterans History Project (VHP) is pleased to announce a new resource designed to introduce VHP’s holdings related to the veterans of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, an all-African American, all-female unit …