Fighting for the Right to Fight: African American Experiences in WWII

From the OC Fair & Event Center:

On display Feb. 16 through Sept. 18, 2022

On Feb. 16, 2022, Heroes Hall Museum will open a new special exhibit called Fighting for the Right to Fight: African American Experiences in World War II. Produced by The National WWII Museum, the exhibit features artifacts, photographs and oral histories to highlight some of the extraordinary achievements and challenges of African Americans during World War II, both overseas and on the Home Front.

In the years before World War II, African Americans in many parts of the country were treated as second-class citizens. Discriminatory practices were condoned by the government, and African Americans were systematically denied many rights and liberties by laws that kept them in positions of inferiority. Due to the landmark Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court decision in 1896, the United States was a nation where “separate but equal” was law in many states. In addition, many military leaders declared African Americans unfit to serve in combat. However, once the war began, thousands rushed to enlist, determined to fight for freedom, while still being denied equality at home.

On display through September 18, 2022, Fighting for the Right to Fight illustrates how hopes for securing equality inspired many to enlist, the discouraging reality of the segregated non-combat roles given to black recruits, and the continuing fight for “Double Victory” that laid the groundwork for the modern Civil Rights Movement.

Opening Ceremony

Heroes Hall Museum will host an opening ceremony to commemorate the exhibit. The event will feature speakers, performances and kids activities.

When: Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022, at 11 a.m.
Where: Heroes Hall at the OC Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa
Cost: Free admission and parking. A complimentary light lunch will be provided to the first 200 people who RSVP. (We’re sorry, the lunch option has hit capacity but the public is still invited to join us for the event!)”

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