It was “the good war.”
That’s how America portrayed its involvement in World War II: a righteous struggle of freedom against tyranny.
But America in the 1940s had legal restrictions denying its black citizens the vote, and segregated them in rundown neighborhoods, poor schools and low-paying jobs. Black GIs were assigned to building roads and waiting tables at officers clubs. Military hospitals kept black blood separate from white, and white officers treated Nazi prisoners more respectfully than they did black servicemen wearing the uniform of Uncle Sam.
Crusading African-American newspapers exposed these hateful contradictions with their Double V campaign – victory against Hitler overseas and victory against racism at home. They were harassed by the FBI, lost advertisers and got hate mail from bigots. But led by Louisville Defender publisher Frank Stanley, they helped persuade President Harry Truman to integrate the US military.
February 4 at 6 pm a talented ensemble of Louisville actors will perform a riveting docudrama of the period, “DOUBLE V”, in a Black History Month presentation of the Filson Historical Society and Muhammad Ali Center. The play will be preceded by a setup talk from playwright and director Larry Muhammad, a former Courier-Journal reporter who has written about the historical Black Press USA in Columba Journalism Review and Nieman Reports at The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.
WHEN: Feb. 4 at 6 pm
WHERE: Muhammad Ali Center, 144 N. 6th St., Louisville
TICKETS: $10 at the door; Free to members of the Filson Historical Society and Muhammad Ali Center