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Lawrence D. Reddick World War II Project

Lawrence D. Reddick World War II Project


Item Details

The Lawrence D. Reddick World War II Project Collection, 1943-1953 (bulk 1943-1945) consists of correspondence with black servicemen and women, summaries of interviews Reddick conducted, as well as research files maintained by him. The series Letters and Interviews, 1943-1945 consists of more than a hundred letters that black servicemen and officers, and a few black servicewomen, wrote principally to their families and friends relating the individuals' experiences. The servicemen were stationed in all of the theaters of operation, and some were stateside at various training camps throughout the United States. Of note is a letter Dwight Eisenhower wrote in 1947 in response to a letter from Reddick, stating his opposition to discrimination of American soldiers based upon color or race. Also included in the collection are summaries of interviews Reddick conducted between 1944 and 1946 in Harlem with former servicemen and officers. The interviewees were forthright in their discussions about their experiences with both black and white soldiers and officers, and the people in the countries where they served. There are also summaries of interviews with several black servicewomen and one white serviceman, as well as civilians. Individuals interviewed include William E. Artis (artist), Warren Cuney (writer), Ewart Guinier (who later headed the first African-American Studies Department at Harvard University), William H. Hastie (civil rights attorney), Roi Ottley (author and journalist) Leigh Whipper (actor). The series Writings and Research Files, 1943-1949 contains manuscripts and material Reddick created or gathered for articles and a book he had intended to write; nearly all focus on the black experience during World War II. Several of his manuscripts, both published and unpublished, form part of this series, including an incomplete manuscript about black soldiers from the Civil War through World War I. Additional research material consists of a file about discriminatory practices, folders about black officers, World War II heroes, the Army's policy toward black soldiers during the war, and President Truman's committee on equality of treatment. Of special interest is a scrapbook about the Manhattan Beach Coast Guard Training Station in Brooklyn containing photographs and news clippings about black officers. Reddick maintained a large set of files regarding employment of blacks from 1940-1945 divided into such categories as agriculture and various war-related industries as well as War Manpower Commission reports. Additional files pertain to conscientious objectors and notes from Army aptitude tests taken by black soldiers.
Authors: Reddick, Lawrence Dunbar, 1910-1995
Title: Lawrence D. Reddick World War II project
Characteristics: 2.4 lin. ft. (1 record carton, 4 archival boxes, 1 1/2 archival boxes)
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Reddick, Lawrence Dunbar, 1910-1995
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