New Online Archive to Document History of Black World War I Veterans

VetsA new project underway at the Reed College of Media at West Virginia University seeks to document the history of African American veterans of World War I. The new website will allow users to visit memorials to Black veterans around the world through virtual reality. Visitors will also be able to view historical photographs, film, audio recordings, and other documents. Site users will also be able to post information on their knowledge of the contributions of Black World War I veterans.

Joel Beeson, an associate professor in the Reed College of Media, is heading up the effort. Dr. Beeson states that “the Black veterans of World War I returned home to become foot soldiers for civil rights in America. The World War I Black experience was part of the beginning of the modern civil rights movement.”

The new website is planned to go live in 2017.

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  1. Excellent! I can’t wait to see the website. At NC A&T State University we have been highlighting the history of African American veterans for the past several years with exhibits and discussion programs. We would like to collaborate with you.

    • Our book African American Doctors of World War I was recently published by McFarland. The reviews on Amazon and Barnes & Noble are terrific.
      We are most interested in working with you on your project and addressing a class or group in April (as we head back from Florida to Arlington, Virginia.
      In addition to the reviews, USA Today is including a write-up on the book in its Black History Month tab, and our interview at the MacArthur Memorial will be aired in February. In February, we will be in DC for ASALH’s book signing. In April, we will be in Chicago with the Pritzker Military Museum to film an interview for public television.

      Let us know how we can help with your project.

  2. Hi. I have been trying to find anyone to help me with tracking down my Great-grandad’s information. He was a member of an apparently short-lived group in NY called the National Association of Colored Military Officers. There is a NY Age newspaper article about the launch of this group to help the men highlight their service in positive manner. The date is April 14, 1928. The War Museum down south and the NY Military museums were all dead ends. The Fort Des Moines museum where my ancestor was trained was de-funded and the people who used to work there took a year to get back to me and then they left.

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