Matt Delmont on “We Return Fighting”: The Black Freedom Struggle During World War II

On Monday, November 14, 2022, historian Matt Delmont will share stories from his new book, Half American: The Epic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad. For example, about Thurgood Marshall, the chief lawyer for the NAACP, who investigated and publicized violence against Black troops and veterans; Ella Baker, the civil rights leader who advocated on the home front for Black soldiers, veterans, and their families; James Thompson, the 26-year-old whose letter to a newspaper laying bare the hypocrisy of fighting against fascism abroad when racism still reigned at home set in motion the Double Victory campaign; and poet Langston Hughes, who worked as a war correspondent for the Black press.

Matthew Delmont is the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor of History at Dartmouth College. A Guggenheim Fellow and expert on African American history and the history of civil rights, he is the author of five books. In addition to Half American, there are: Black Quotidian, Why Busing Failed, Making Roots, and The Nicest Kids in Town. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, the Washington Post, NPR, and several academic journals.

Delmont will be in conversation with Rethinking Schools editor and high school teacher Jesse Hagopian.

These online classes with people’s historians are held at least once a month (generally on Mondays) at 4:00 pm PT / 7:00 pm ET for 90 minutes. In each session, the historian is interviewed by a teacher and breakout rooms allow participants to meet each other in small groups, discuss the content, and share teaching ideas. We designed the sessions for teachers and other school staff. Parents, students, and others are also welcome to participate.

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