Rare Images of African American Women in Service –
Researched by Barbara Lewis Burger- National US Archives
It is difficult enough to find photographs of ordinary African Americans who served in the US Forces in the 1940s, and extraordinarily difficult to find images of women who served, as many thousands did. Most of these photographs were picked from the holdings of the Still Picture Branch (NNSP) of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
Compiled by researcher Barbara Lewis Burger, a retired National Archives Still Picture Senior Archivist, in her effort to redress the imbalance in Black military history.
There were in fact two “Rosies”.
Not only were black women battling fascism and sexism, but racism too – serving in segregated units and continuing to face on-going discrimination. The photos in the archive include black women in the 1940s military forces, women on the home front, and black women entertaining the troops.
Some 6,500 black women joined the Womens Army Corp (WAC). Harriet M Waddy became its first African American woman major and while she had some detractors for holding the rank while other 1940s black women suffered discrimination, she argued that “joining a segregated military was not a retreat from our fight but a contribution to realising the ideal.”
In the aircraft factories of the Douglas Aircraft Co and Lockheed however, it appears that women of all colours and races worked tirelessly together for the war effort.
Here are just a couple of gems:
That’s all !
You can order individual photographs directly from here.
Read also World war Two – The Home Front