WWII African American Exhibit
The community is invited to the opening celebration of the traveling exhibit “A War on Two Fronts: African Americans Fight for Victory at Home and Abroad” on February 5, 2022, from 11 am to 1 pm at the Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage.
Dr. Maggi Morehouse from Coastal Carolina University will be on hand to discuss the origins of the project which explores the stories, struggles and accomplishments of African soldiers during World War II. Attendees can view footage of interviews from Orease Brown and Henry Lawton, two of the black WWII veterans from Jasper County. The event will also include guided tours of the exhibition, light refreshments and music from the 1940s era.
More than one million African Americans served during WWII, but their contributions to the war effort are rarely discussed. “A War on Two Fronts” is adapted from an original exhibition and book developed by the Athenaeum Press at the Horry County Museum. The exhibition and book explore how African Americans in the 92nd and 93rd Army infantry divisions fought for racial equality during wartime, and then went on to be active participants in the Civil Rights Movement. It traces the little-known stories of soldiers on the front lines, and how segregation affected their training, service and recognition.
The exhibition draws from the work of Dr. Maggi Morehouse, Burroughs Distinguished Professor of Southern History and Culture at Coastal Carolina University and a daughter of a commanding officer in the 92nd infantry division. Morehouse interviewed more than 40 soldiers and their families on their experiences. Her archive will be housed at the Library of Congress. The exhibit includes historical photographs, interviews with soldiers, film, audio and interactives, to tell the compelling story of the life of a black soldier during WWII.
“We are very pleased to be able to bring ‘A War on Two Fronts’ to our area,” said Tamara Herring, Morris Center Executive Director. “It allows us the opportunity to showcase the contributions and sacrifices of our local veterans, and we hope that it will inspire many to study and talk about this important time of our nation’s history.”
On view at the Morris Center from February 5, 2022, through August 13, 2022, “A War on Two Fronts” was created by the Athenaeum Press, a student publishing lab at Coastal Carolina University that focuses on telling regional stories in innovative ways. To learn more about “A War on Two Fronts” and other Athenaeum Press projects, visit www.ccu.press or www.warontwofronts.com.
About Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage
Located in the heart of downtown Ridgeland on US 17, Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage is a learning and exhibition center dedicated to preserving and cultivating the history, culture and spirit of Ridgeland and its surrounding counties. Housed in a collection of vintage buildings, with the architecturally distinctive Sinclair Service Station as its focal point, the center features ever-changing exhibitions, interactive and dynamic learning opportunities, cultural offerings, storytelling and other forms of art.
For more information on other attractions and dining in Ridgeland visit southcarolinalowcountry.com.