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"Invisible Warriors: African American Women in World War II”

Regina E. Cooke VICTORY.jpg
Hear “Rosie the Riveter,” and the image most likely to come to mind is strong, determined--and white. The documentary ‘Invisible Warriors,’ holds up the overlooked role that Black women played in the World War II effort … and how that changed their lives. Credit: 'Victory' by Regina E. Cooke.

Women poured into the labor force during World War Two. They were an essential part of America’s war efforts -- performing tasks that before had been assigned only to men.

The classic images of Rosie the Riveter are white women. But Professor Gregory Cooke, creator of the documentary Invisible Warriors, has unearthed the lesser known stories that represent six hundred thousand Black women who also joined the workforce. They excelled in their jobs … against even greater barriers:

“Black women were riveters, welders, carpenters, sheet metal workers, there were even some in Washington who did code breaking.  They were basically fighting the war of racism and gender discrimination.

Links: Invisible Warriors, Morgan State University March 10 5:30pm event, TCM WWII Spotlight interview with Prof. Cooke.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Melissa Gerr is a producer for On the Record. She started in public media at Twin Cities Public Television in St. Paul, Minn., where she is from, and then worked as a field producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland. She made the jump to audio-lover in Baltimore as a digital media editor at Mid-Atlantic Media and Laureate Education, Inc. and as a field producer for "Out of the Blocks." Her beat is typically the off-beat with an emphasis on science, culture and things that make you say, 'Wait, what?'