Double V campaign

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The Double V campaign was a slogan and drive to promote the fight for democracy abroad and within the United States for African Americans during World War II. The Double V refers to the "V for victory" sign prominently displayed by countries fighting "for victory over aggression, slavery, and tyranny," but adopts a second "V" to represent the double victory for African Americans fighting for freedom overseas and at home.[1] The campaign first appeared in the African-American newspaper Pittsburgh Courier on February 7, 1942. The slogan was prompted by a response to the letter, "Should I Sacrifice to Live 'Half American?'" written by 26-year-old reader James G. Thompson.[2] Pitched as "Democracy – Double Victory, At Home - Abroad", the campaign highlighted the risks African Americans took while they fought in the military campaign against Axis powers while denied their rights as citizens within the United States.[3]

Among African-Americans, the Double V campaign had a 91% approval rating and was supported by various organizations, such as North Carolina A&T State University and United Automobile Workers. Contributing factors to the campaign's success were the discrimination that black soldiers experienced in the military who drew connections between the United States' treatment of blacks to Nazi Germany's treatment of Jews, as well as wartime injustices such as the Port Chicago disaster and Agana race riot that underscored the necessity for victory at home.[4]

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  1. ^ Wynn, Neil A. (2010). The African American Experience during World War II. Plymouth, United Kingdom: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. p. 40. ISBN 978-1-4422-0016-6. 
  2. ^ Washburn, Patrick S. (August 1981). The Pittsburgh Courier's Double V Campaign in 1942 (PDF). Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism. East Lansing, Michigan: Michigan State University. 
  3. ^ James, Rawn, Jr. (2014). "The Double V". The Double V: How Wars, Protest, and Harry Truman Desegregated America's Military. Bloomsbury Publishing USA. pp. 137–143. ISBN 9781608196227. 
  4. ^ James, Rawn, Jr. (2013). The Double V: How Wars, Protest, and Harry Truman Desegregated America’s Military. New York: Bloomsbury. ISBN 9781608196173. 

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