Skip to Main Content

Black History Month 2018: African Americans in Times of War Exhibit: Home

A research guide for exploring and studying the theme of African-American History Month 2018: "African Americans in Times of War"


Brand of the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library

African Americans in Times of War

A Black History Month exhibit highlighting Archives Research Center Resources

Building upon the 2018 Association for the Study of African American Life and History’s National Black History Month Theme, “African Americans in Times of War,” the AUC Woodruff Library Archives Research Center observes Black History Month through the showcasing of archival documents, photographs, correspondence, memorabilia, newspaper articles, and images related to wars throughout the history of the United States and the impact these wars had on the lives and communities of African Americans.

African Americans in Times of War is a physical representation of the struggles and accomplishments of African Americans past and present. Serving as soldiers, sailors, pilots, veterans, nurses, and civilians, African Americans held various roles in times of war. The story of African Americans during war time is filled with “paradoxes of valor and defeat, of civil rights opportunities and setbacks, of struggles abroad and at home, of artistic creativity and repression, and of catastrophic loss of life and the righteous hope for peace.”*

Highlighting the rich resources of the Archives Research Center, this exhibit commemorates these struggles and accomplishments by showcasing select archival documents and images related to the men and women who served in the military, assisted in the war effort at home, spoke out both for and against the war, and memorials of those who fought and lost their lives. The materials on display include yearbooks, bulletins and magazines from Atlanta University and Spelman College, newspapers from Morehouse College and the AUC Digest, poems, and rare books of African Americans who served the country in various capacities from various collections including, the Trezzvant Anderson Papers, George A. Sewell Papers, the Johnson Publishing Company Clippings, the Robert E. Penn Collection, and more. The exhibit highlights the involvement and impact in the AUC community and schools, including how the AUC schools served the war effort, the students’ reactions to war, and how these events affected the Black experience at the AUC.

Share with others! #BlackHistoryMonth #ASALH

Items on display are from the AUC Woodruff Library’s Archives Research Center (ARC) and may be viewed in the ARC Reading Room located on the library’s upper level. Visit for more information on collections, or to schedule an appointment in the Archives.

*Quote from “ASALH 2018 Black History Theme, African Americans in Times of War,”

As you explore the exhibit...

...reflect on and answer the following questions:

  1. What is the history of African Americans in the armed forces?
  2. What were some of the main reasons why African Americans were opposed to military service during the early conflicts of the 20th Century?
  3. Why do you believe the AUC has had such a strong connection to military service?
  4. What was the significance of the AUC Army Administration School of the 1940s?
  5. What inference can you make as to why the Army Administration School was hosted in the AUC?
  6. What was something new that you learned from this exhibit? Explain.
  7. How does the exhibit African Americans in Times of War relate to Dubois’s concept of double consciousness, which describes the individual sensation of feeling as though your identity is divided into several parts, making it difficult or impossible to have one unified identity? Explain why or why not.
  8. What was your favorite part of this exhibit?
  9. Explain in your own words what this exhibit is about.
  10. Lastly, what would you do if you received a draft notice in the mail requiring you to join the military and fight in combat? Would you refuse Army induction like Muhammad Ali in 1967 during the Vietnam War or would you “Come Out Fighting” like the African-American soldiers in the 761st tank battalion, who were one of the most effective tank battalions in World War II?

Explore Digital Collections on this Topic

Link to the Atlanta University Center Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAM) Center for Collaborative Teaching & Learning's collection, 'African Americans in Times of War'
This collection is part of the Atlanta University Center (AUC) Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAM) Center for Collaborative Teaching & Learning.


We are open Monday through Thursday, 1PM - 7PM; Friday, 1PM - 5PM. We are also open Saturday by appointment only. To make an appointment please contact us at least 24 business hours in advance at, or (404) 978-2052.