Determined to Serve: African American Women in World War II

African American women who donned a uniform during World War II confronted tremendous obstacles. Joining up meant taking a stand against those both inside the service and outside of it who maintained that women and African Americans had no place in the military. Compelled by their sense of patriotic duty and the promise of opportunities for advancement, African American women chose to serve their country despite the discrimination, hostility, and sometimes outright violence they faced while doing so. Whether stationed stateside or abroad, they persevered with honor and often humor, their accomplishments a testament to their integrity and determination. Here, we spotlight a handful of collections from the Veterans History Project archive relating to African American women who served during World War II.

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