Monday, May 28, 2012

They Nursed the Men, and they Moved The Mail-Black Women of World War II

The Six Triple Eight--Under the Direction of Lt. Colonel Charity  Adams

The distinguished women of the 6888th were the only Black women besides nurses to serve overseas in World War II. These women helped to move mail to service men during the war and they worked around the clock under incredible conditions.  Col. Charity Adams was the highest ranking black female in the army at that time.  May she and the women who served under her always be remembered.

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From the perspective of medicine--there were the nurses.

During the war there was an effort to get women to join the nursing corps to assist with the War effort. The appeal to the population however, meant---only white nurses. However, in 1941, the army did open the nursing corps to African American women. In 1943 the Nurse Training bill was amended to bar racial bias. The amendment was introduced by Congresswoman Frances Payne Bolton. So black women entered the US Army Nursing corps.  They worked on soldiers and some did have experiences where white soldiers screamed at them yelling racial epithets and insisting that these women of color not touch them--in spite of their own physical injuries--their racial bias was so deeply entrenched into their psyche. They saw these women not as Americans but as n-----s, even through their pain.

These women however, worked nevertheless, and tended to their patients as fellow human beings, as fellow Americans.These women--not often mentioned when veterans are honored, deserve their moment and they deserve to be memorialized.

War is often seen as a event between men. But there were women who gave their time, their courage and their love of country during those times as well.

They are therefore honored today on this Memorial Day.

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