NEW ORLEANS (January 19, 2018) – On February 22, 2018, The National WWII Museum will host a live, web-based program examining racial segregation and discrimination faced by many African Americans during World War II. In this interactive broadcast, students will learn how the pursuit for both victory and equality shaped the story of World War II and transformed the United States for decades to come. Featuring student reporters in both California and New Orleans, the Field Trip will air in classrooms across the nation as WWII survivors and experts help analyze war-era racial injustices, examine artifacts from the Museum’s collections and explore WWII historic sites in order to share stories of struggle, setbacks, triumphs and heroism of individuals who changed history.
A free 50-minute program, Fighting for the Right to Fight: African American Experiences in World War II will take place at 9:00 a.m. CST and 12:00 p.m. CST. During the Field Trip, student reporters Maceo Carney and Mizani Ball will take viewers on a cross-country journey through documentary-style interviews with WWII survivors, giving middle and high school students the opportunity to listen to firsthand accounts from WWII Home Front worker Betty Reid Soskin, the oldest living National Park Service Ranger, and Tuskegee Airman George Hardy. Students will also have a chance to look inside two historic WWII sites – the Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial and the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park.
“Our mission at The National WWII Museum is to tell the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world,” said Chrissy Gregg, the Museum’s Distance Learning Manager. “In order to fulfill this mission, we’re taking education beyond our physical campus and into classrooms – a space where students may not get the opportunity to hear firsthand accounts about pivotal times in history. We are proud to host this Electronic Field Trip, especially as we look at how African Americans heroically fought to preserve freedoms abroad at a time when they did not have those freedoms here at home.”
Central to the Field Trip’s discussion is an examination of how throughout World War II, African Americans pursued a double victory – one over the Axis abroad and the other over discrimination at home. Major cultural, social and economic shifts amid a global conflict were changing American lives. Although President Franklin Delano Roosevelt banned discrimination against African Americans in the defense industry in 1941, segregation in the armed forces remained. Nevertheless, more than 2.5 million African Americans registered for the draft during World War II, and over 1 million served.
Broadcasting during Black History Month, the Electronic Field Trip is influenced by The National WWII Museum’s signature special traveling exhibit Fighting for the Right to Fight: African American Experiences in World War II, which is currently on view at the Dallas Holocaust Museum through January 26, 2018. In addition to student reporters and WWII survivors, the Field Trip will feature Rob Citino, PhD, the Museum’s Samuel Zemurray Stone Senior Historian, and Damon Singleton, WDSU-TV Meteorologist and retired US Naval Commander. Both will lead a live Q&A and polling with students around the country as they discuss the vital roles African Americans played in securing our nation’s freedom, and the postwar fight for equality during the Civil Rights Movement.
The Fighting for the Right to Fight: African American Experiences in World War II Electronic Field Trip is produced in partnership with the National Park Service and with generous support from Paul and DiDi Reilly in honor of Paul J Reilly, US Marine Sergeant, WWII; The Dale E. and Janice Davis Johnston Family Foundation in honor of Dr. Earle R. Davis and his service aboard the USS Tranquillity; the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Charitable Foundation; Alan and Diane Franco; and the C. Jay Moorhead Foundation.
Additional support provided by Fabenco Founding Fathers Foundation and Anonymous.
Learn more about how your classroom can participate in the Fighting for the Right to Fight: African American Experiences in World War II Electronic Field Trip or visit www.nationalww2museum.org/electronic-field-trips. Send questions in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, it 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. The 2017 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice® awards ranks the Museum No. 2 in the world and No. 2 in the nation. For more information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-528-1944 or visit nationalww2museum.org.
Keith M. Darcey
Public Relations Manager
Office: 504-528-1944 X 488