Black Woman Vets

Prior to the founding of the United States, white identity predominated all social interactions, especially in the 18th and 19th centuries, and white supremacy came to symbolize American identity. Slavery existed in the North as well as the South, and Northerners, not Southern slave owners, were those who helped shape the idea of the United States of America. Despite this, Americans frequently blame Southern slavery for racism. This was explained by the historian Donald Yacovone, an associate at the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research and a 2013 winner of the W.E.B. Du Bois medal. (Mineo, Liz.).

The Army established the 6888th in late 1944, which consisted of five companies totaling about 850 Black women, and they were commanded by Army Maj. Charity Adams, who ended the war as a lieutenant colonel, becoming the highest-ranking Black woman during the war. Of the more than 140,000 women who served in the Women's Army Corps during World War II, about 6,500 of them were Black (U.S. Department of Defense, “All-Black Female WWII Unit to Receive Congressional Gold Medal”).

According to the publication, she took only two weeks to organize the remarkable unit, with additional research, generally taking at least six to twelve weeks. Adams' regiment in England, the 6888th Central Postal Directory, was entrusted with transporting mail to and from roughly seven million soldiers fighting in Europe. Adams' unit handled the processing, sorting, and transmission of the tens of millions of love letters, family messages, and home news that kept the spirits of American soldiers fighting on the front lines (Lt. Col. Charity Adams :: U.S. Army Garrison Fort Lee).

Her effectiveness was demonstrated when three units of male troops were needed to replace her battalion after it disbanded, despite the fact that she was the highest-ranking woman during the war and was prevented from being promoted to lieutenant colonel due to gender prejudice (Lt. Col. Charity Adams :: U.S. Army Garrison Fort Lee). African American women assisted fathers, husbands, and sons in providing medical care, comforting the sick, and even spiritual healing (“Black Women in the Military | United States | NABMW”). Fort Lee (Virginia), one of the Confederate-named sites, was recommended to be renamed Fort Gregg-Adams on August 8, 2022, in honor of Lieutenant General Arthur J. Gregg and Lieutenant Colonel Charity Adams Earley. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin accepted the recommendation on October 6, 2022, and ordered that the name change take effect no later than January 1, 2024 (Wikipedia contributors).

Ray Young

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