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African American Experience in the World Wars: Soldiers in WW2

Resources on African American soldiers and civilians in World War 1 and World War 2

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On Land, Sea, and Air

Research Tip

What are primary sources?

Primary sources are the raw materials of history — original documents and objects that were created at the time under study. They are different from secondary sources, accounts that retell, analyze, or interpret events, usually at a distance of time or place (Library of Congress). Primary sources are the evidence of history, original records or objects created by participants or observers at the time historical events occurred or even well after events, as in memoirs and oral histories (RUSA). Examples of primary sources include diaries, photos, memoirs, newspapers, speeches, interviews, audio or video recordings, and more.

Please note that terminology in historical materials and in their descriptions does not always match the language preferred by members of the communities depicted and may include negative stereotypes or words some may consider offensive. 

To learn more about what primary sources are, check out this brief video.




Women in the War

Tuskegee Airmen

photo of African American pilots lined up for inspection in front of 2 world war 2 airplanes  

Major James A. Ellison reviews first class of Tuskeegee Airmen, returning the salute of Mac Ross, one of the first graduates. A BT-13 is visible on the left. Photo from Wikipedia

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