A 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.