Episode 186: African Americans in World War II
Guest: Matthew F. Delmont
Sunday, December 17, 2023
This week on History Happy Hour: More than one million Black men and women served in World War II. Black troops served in segregated units and performing unheralded but vital support jobs, only to be denied housing and educational opportunities during and after the war. Without their crucial contributions, the United States could not have won the war. And yet the stories of these Black veterans have long been ignored, cast aside in favor of the myth of the “Good War” fought by the “Greatest Generation.”
This week Chris and Rick welcome historian Mathew Delmont, author of the new book Half American: The Epic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad. A wide-ranging look at the African-American experience in World War II, fighting for America abroad while simultaneously fighting for their rights here at home.
Matthew F. Delmont is a Professor of History at Dartmouth College. A Guggenheim Fellow and expert on African American history and the history of civil rights, he is the author of four books before this one: Black Quotidian, Why Busing Failed, Making Roots, and The Nicest Kids in Town. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and several academic journals, and on NPR. Delmont earned his BA from Harvard University and his MA and PhD from Brown University.