Oregon Historical Society
Emergency Messages as of 6:58 pm, Fri. Aug. 14
No information currently posted.
Subscribe to receive FlashAlert messages from Oregon Historical Society.
Primary email address for a new account:

  
And/or follow our FlashAlerts via Twitter

About FlashAlert on Twitter:

FlashAlert utilizes the free service Twitter to distribute emergency text messages. While you are welcome to register your cell phone text message address directly into the FlashAlert system, we recommend that you simply "follow" the FlashAlert account for Oregon Historical Society by clicking on the link below and logging in to (or creating) your free Twitter account. Twitter sends messages out exceptionally fast thanks to arrangements they have made with the cell phone companies.

Click here to add Oregon Historical Society to your Twitter account or create one.

@orhist

Hide this Message


Manage my existing Subscription

News Release
Final Days: Fighting for the Right to Fight: African American Experiences in World War II Closes January 12 at the Oregon Historical Society - 01/09/20

PRESS KIT: http://bit.ly/fftrtfpresskit

Portland, OR – Sunday, January 12 is the final day to view the national traveling exhibition Fighting for the Right to Fight: African American Experiences in World War II, currently on display at the Oregon Historical Society. Produced by The National WWII Museum, the exhibit features artifacts, photographs, and oral histories that highlight some of the extraordinary achievements and challenges of African Americans during World War II, both overseas and on the Home Front.

Fighting for the Right to Fight illustrates how hopes for securing equality inspired many to enlist, the discouraging reality of the segregated noncombat roles given to black recruits, and the continuing fight for “Double Victory” that laid the groundwork for the modern Civil Rights Movement.

“The Oregon Historical Society is very proud to work with The National WWII Museum to ensure that this important and compelling exhibit could be seen and experienced in the Pacific Northwest,” said Oregon Historical Society Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk.

Through myriad interactive experiences, visitors will discover the wartime stories of individual service members who took part in this journey of extraordinary challenge, from unheralded heroes to famous names, including Alex Haley (US Coast Guard); Sammy Davis Jr. (US Army); Benjamin Davis Jr. (US Army Air Forces); Medgar Evers (US Army); and more.

The centerpiece of the exhibit is an original eight-minute video about the famed 332nd Fighter Group (better known as the Tuskegee Airmen), who in many ways became the public focus of African American participation during the war. Television personality Robin Roberts narrates the piece, whose own father flew with the Tuskegee Airmen during the war.

Including personal accounts from members of the 332nd Fighter Group, the video provides an overview of how their success in battle became a great symbol of bravery, helping refute notions that African Americans were inferior performers in the military, especially in roles requiring advanced training. Lieutenant Colonel William Holloman III recalls his leader Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.’s encouragement: “He said, ‘America’s watching you.’ He instilled in us a pride that I don’t think was there before we went in the service.”

Additionally, Fighting for the Right to Fight will feature two medals representing the seven African Americans who were awarded the Medal of Honor in 1997, the bittersweet result of a long investigation by the US military on discriminatory policies in the awarding of combat medals. The exhibit will also provide in-depth coverage of lesser-known events and service, such as that of the USS Mason, the first American ship to have a predominately African American crew.

A national advisory committee, including the late Dr. Clement Alexander Price of Rutgers University, helped frame the exhibition. The committee, led by cochairs Dr. John Morrow of the University of Georgia and Claudine Brown of the Smithsonian Institution, helped advise on the exhibition’s narrative arc and content. To view artifacts and images from the exhibit, and to access educator resources and lesson plans, visit righttofightexhibit.org.

The Oregon Historical Society’s museum is open seven days a week, Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is $10, and discounts are available for students, seniors, teachers, and youth. Admission is free every day for OHS members and Multnomah County residents.


About the Oregon Historical Society

For more than a century, the Oregon Historical Society has served as the state’s collective memory, preserving a vast collection of artifacts, photographs, maps, manuscript materials, books, films, and oral histories. Our research library, museum, digital platforms & website (www.ohs.org), educational programming, and historical journal make Oregon’s history open and accessible to all. We exist because history is powerful, and because a history as deep and rich as Oregon’s cannot be contained within a single story or point of view.

About The National WWII Museum

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. For more information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-528-1944 or visit nationalww2museum.org.

 

 

 

View more news releases from Oregon Historical Society.