It’s reported that less than half of the 2.5-million African American soldiers who registered for the armed forces at the beginning of World War II were called to serve. Those who were enlisted found that as they served their country abroad, they still faced less than a democratic reception at home.
The Pittsburgh Courier, one of the most widely circulated African-American newspapers of its time, received a humble, patriotic, but assertive letter to the editor in 1942. It was penned by 26 year-old African American James G. Thompson of Wichita.
Dr. Galyn Vesey is a unique individual in the context of Wichita history. Vesey received his Ph.D. from Syracuse University and his academic career included stints at Utica College and Alabama A & M University. He not only represents “living history” but also seeks, as a scholar, to re-create an important part of Wichita’s African American historical experience.