Virtual Legacy Lecture

Half American: How African Americans Fought WWII At Home and Abroad

January 25, 20245:30 pm - 6:30 pm



Join us for a Virtual Legacy Lecture by Matthew Delmont, author of Half American: The Epic Story Of African Americans Fighting World War II At Home And Abroad, premiering at 5:30 p.m. EST on Thursday, January 25.

Simply click on the link and then enjoy the live lecture. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions in a live chat session. Following the premiere, the video will be available 24/7 to the general public.


Half American

From the publisher:

More than one million Black soldiers served in World War II. Black troops were at Normandy, Iwo Jima, and the Battle of the Bulge, serving in segregated units while waging a dual battle against inequality in the very country for which they were laying down their lives. The stories of these Black veterans have long been ignored, cast aside in favor of the myth of the “Good War” fought by the “Greatest Generation.” And yet without their sacrifices, the United States could not have won the war.Half American is World War II history as you’ve likely never read it before. In these pages are stories of Black military heroes and civil rights icons such as Benjamin O. Davis Jr., the leader of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen, who fought to open the Air Force to Black pilots; Thurgood Marshall, the chief lawyer for the NAACP, who investigated and publicized violence against Black troops and veterans; poet Langston Hughes, who worked as a war correspondent for the Black press; Ella Baker, the civil rights leader who advocated on the home front for Black soldiers, veterans, and their families; and James G. Thompson, the twenty-six-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. Their bravery and patriotism in the face of unfathomable racism is both inspiring and galvanizing. An essential and meticulously researched retelling of the war, Half American honors the men and women who dared to fight not just for democracy abroad but for their dreams of a freer and more equal America.

How can I watch?

The presentation will be livestreamed on the Marshall Foundation YouTube channel ( Viewers of the stream are encouraged to write questions using the live video chat (to the lower right of the video) or via email at [email protected]. Chat will be monitored for abusive comments.


Who is Matthew Delmont?

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 four books. Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Delmont earned his BA from Harvard University and his MA and PhD from Brown University.