The National WWII Museum Celebrates Black History Month
Published 1:23 pm Monday, January 30, 2023
Contributions of African Americans in World War II examined through educational programming, special exhibit, theatrical performances and online content
Throughout February, The National WWII Museum celebrates Black History Month with a robust schedule of programming honoring the extraordinary contributions and achievements of African Americans during World War II. More than 1.2 million African Americans served in every branch of the US Armed Forces during the war, both overseas and on the Home Front. The Museum’s Black History Month schedule—which includes a special photo exhibit, a play that tells the story of four Tuskegee Airmen, in-person and virtual educational programming and additional online content—furthers its mission to tell the complete story of the American experience in the war that changed the world as it explores the experiences of African Americans who fought forces of fascism abroad while fighting racism at home.
The Museum’s virtual and in-person programming will feature discussions on African American wartime contributions by leading scholars, historians and educators. Virtual programs will be broadcast live and also available for on-demand viewing on the Museum’s YouTube channel.
To learn more and to register for the events below, visit www.nationalww2museum.org.
February 1–March 3, 2023
This is a free, in-person exhibit.
The Museum is proud to display Souls of Valor, a special exhibit by photographer and historian Jim Thorns Jr., who captured powerful and poignant images of a 2001 ticker tape parade in New Orleans that was part of a three-day tribute to the African American heroes of World War II. The exhibit will display a selection of the images created by Thorns and additional photographers, as well as service-era photography and a special video presentation highlighting some of the Louisiana-area men who joined the Army Air Forces and served overseas with the famous Tuskegee Airmen.
Reception starts at 5:00 p.m., program starts at 6:00 p.m.
This is a free, in-person event.
Learn more about initiatives, displays, and programming the Museum has planned for the month of February that recognize the service of African Americans in World War II, while getting an exclusive preview of BB’s Stage Door Canteen’s latest production, Fly. This free event will include a wine and beer reception with light hors d’oeuvres from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. Registration is required for this event, and space is limited.
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
This is a free, virtual event. This program is proudly sponsored by AARP Louisiana.
Hear from Trey Ellis, a two-time Emmy-and Peabody-winning filmmaker, American Book Award–winning novelist, NAACP Image Award–winning playwright, essayist, and Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia University’s School of the Arts. His play, Fly, will be presented in BB’s Stage Door Canteen in February 2023. This Lunchbox Lecture is free and only available online. For those unable to view it live, recordings will be available on Facebook and YouTube.
February 4, 5 & 25 at 2:00 p.m.
February 3, 9 & 24 at 7:00 p.m.
This is a ticketed, in-person event.
Fly tells the story of four African American Tuskegee Airmen and their fight on two fronts to achieve Double Victory during World War II. Using their training experience as a microcosm of race relations in America, the play illustrates how these men fought racism at home while battling fascism overseas. Dynamic videography, special effects and dance make this a powerful multisensory experience. Directed by Tommye Myrick of Voices in the Dark Repertory Theatre with an all-local cast.
Reception at 5:00 p.m., Program at 6:00 p.m.
This is a free, in-person event.
Join us for a discussion between author Cameron McCoy and John Curatola of the Museum’s Jenny Craig Institute for the Study of War and Democracy, both Marines who hold PhDs in history, as they discuss an unheralded group of pioneers—the first Black Marines of the US Marine Corps. Based off of his research and findings for his upcoming book, Contested Valor: African American Marines in the Age of Power, Protest, and Tokenism, McCoy will provide insights into the lives and experiences of many of the first African American Marines during their military service in the American South and abroad from 1945 to 1975. After the program, head over to BB’s Stage Door Canteen for a showing of Fly at 7:00 p.m.
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
This is a free, virtual event.
Join the Museum for this webinar highlighting the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, a battalion made up of over 800 African American women during World War II. This webinar will highlight the work done by these women overseas as they were given a daunting task of clearing out a backlog of over 17 million pieces of mail.
- The Gen. Raymond E. Mason Distinguished Lecture Series on World War II–“Divisions: A New History of Racism and Resistance in America’s World War II Military” by Thomas Guglielmo, PhD
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
This is a free, in-person and virtual event.
America’s WWII military was a force of unalloyed good. While saving the world from Nazism, it also managed to unify a famously fractious American people. At least that’s the story many Americans have long told themselves. Thomas Guglielmo, PhD, offers a decidedly different view in his book, Divisions. Join us for a conversation between Guglielmo and Marcus Cox, PhD, of the Museum’s Jenny Craig Institute for the Study of War and Democracy. If you can’t make it in person, you can join us online here.
The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world—why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today—so that future generations will know the price of freedom and be inspired by what they learn. Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and now designated by Congress as America’s National WWII Museum, the institution celebrates the American spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifices of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and served on the Home Front. For more information on TripAdvisor’s #1 New Orleans attraction, call 877-813-3329 or 504-528-1944 or visit nationalww2museum.org.