Category: world war ii

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Patriotism and Surveillance in Frank Yerby’s “Salute to the Flag”

As a student at Paine College in the mid-1930s, Frank Yerby published “Salute to the Flag” in the November 1936 issue of the school’s newspaper The Paineite. Eight years later, Yerby won the O’Henry prize for his short story “Health Card,” a story that focuses on a Black serviceman and his wife during World War II. I mention this story because “Salute to the … Read More Patriotism and Surveillance in Frank Yerby’s “Salute to the Flag”

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Frank Yerby’s “Health Card” and Gender

Before he started writing “costume novels,” Frank Yerby penned protest literature in the form of short stories and poems. The stories are in the vein of Richard Wright and other African American writers of the period. After failing to get his first novel length manuscript published, a protest novel, Yerby turned to what he called “costume novels,” historical narratives that subvert the plantation tradition. … Read More Frank Yerby’s “Health Card” and Gender

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The “Double V Campaign” in “Captain America/Black Panther: Flags of Our Fathers”

Recently, I’ve been writing about Christopher Priest’s Black Panther, specifically about Priest’s use of Everett K. Ross, “Emperor of Useless White Boys,” as the narrative voice of the book. Today, I want to look at some of Reginald Hudlin’s work as head of Black Panther. I have read a couple of issues of Hudlin’s run, but I do not want to focus on those … Read More The “Double V Campaign” in “Captain America/Black Panther: Flags of Our Fathers”

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Dorie Miller, Joe Louis, and World War II

Last week, we remembered December 7, 1941, and that commemoration made me think about the ways that the government used African Americans, during World War II, to boost morale and support the war effort. Two instances of the government’s deployment of African Americans in “propaganda” posters comes to mind: Dorie Miller and Joe Louis.   When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Dorie Miller served … Read More Dorie Miller, Joe Louis, and World War II