African Americans in Times of War

Building upon the 2018 Association for the Study of African American Life and History’s National Black History Month Theme, “African Americans in Times of War,” the AUC Woodruff Library Archives Research Center observed Black History Month through the showcasing of archival documents, photographs, correspondence, memorabilia, newspaper articles, and images related to wars throughout the history of the United States and the impact these wars had on the lives and communities of African Americans.

Expanding upon the Archives Research Center’s original exhibit, the AUC Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAM) Center for Collaborative Teaching & Learning has adapted this exhibit for a digital platform with the inclusion of material from the Clark Atlanta University Art Museum and the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art.

African Americans in Times of War is a digital representation of the struggles and accomplishments of African Americans past and present. Serving as soldiers, sailors, pilots, veterans, nurses, and civilians, African Americans held various roles in times of war.  The story of African Americans during war time is filled with “paradoxes of valor and defeat, of civil rights opportunities and setbacks, of struggles abroad and at home, of artistic creativity and repression, and of catastrophic loss of life and the righteous hope for peace.”*

Highlighting the rich resources of the GLAM Center for Collaborative Teaching & Learning, this exhibit commemorates these struggles and accomplishments by showcasing select archival documents and images related to the men and women who served in the military, assisted in the war effort at home, spoke out both for and against the war, and memorials of those who fought and lost their lives. The materials on display include yearbooks, bulletins and magazines from Atlanta University and Spelman College, newspapers from Morehouse College and the AUC Digest, poems, and rare books of African Americans who served the country in various capacities from various collections including, the Trezzvant Anderson Papers, George A. Sewell Papers, the Johnson Publishing Company Clippings, the Robert E. Penn Collection, and more. The exhibit highlights the involvement and impact in the AUC community and schools, including how the AUC schools served the war effort, the students’ reactions to war, and how these events affected the Black experience at the AUC. 

*Quote from “ASALH 2018 Black History Theme, African Americans in Times of War,” https://asalh.org/african-americans-in-times-of-war/.

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Credits

Atlanta University Center Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAM) Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning