Anderson Recounts Life and Death Struggles of Black WWII Vets in ‘Smithsonian’

Dr. Carol Anderson was recently quoted in a Smithsonian Magazine piece written by Bryan Greene and titled “After Victory in World War II, Black Veterans Continued the Fight for Freedom at Home.” The article examines how Black veterans fought racist attacks in the immediate post-war period, thereby helping to lay the groundwork for organized and widespread Black freedom struggles in the decades to come. Anderson is Charles Howard Candler Professor, Chair of African American Studies, and Associated Faculty in the History Department. Her most recent book is The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America (Bloomsbury, 2021). Read an excerpt from the Smithsonian article below along with the full piece here.

“…when one reviews the 75 years since the violence and the government-sanctioned discrimination of 1946, it is remarkable how much African-Americans have achieved in a short span. Anderson, the historian from Emory, laments that many Americans don’t want to teach this history. ‘Because then the U.S. doesn’t make sense. Segregated neighborhoods don’t make sense. All-Black and all-white schools just don’t make sense.’ She cites also the G.I. Bill, which black servicemembers could not use to join the emerging middle-class in the suburbs. ‘The wealth gap [today]…Imagine if that that black veteran was able to hold onto that house in Palo Alto. That family would have some money, right?'”