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2014 Amelia Bloomer Top Ten List Double Victory tells the stories of African American women who did extraordinary things to help their country during World War II In these pages young readers meet a range of remarkable women war workers political activists military women volunteers and entertainers Some such as Mary McLeod Bethune and Lena Horne were celebrated in their lifetimes and are well known today But many others fought discrimination at home and abroad in order to contribute to the war effort yet were overlooked during those years and forgotten by later generations Double Victory recovers the stories of these courageous women such as Hazel Dixon Payne the only woman to serve on the remote Alaska Canadian Highway; Deverne Calloway a Red Cross worker who led a protest at an army base in India; and Betty Murphy Phillips the only black female overseas war correspondentOffering a new and diverse perspective on the war and including source notes and a bibliography Double Victory is an invaluable addition to any student’s or history buff’s bookshelf

10 thoughts on “Double Victory

  1. says:

    I didn't like this book nearly as much as I'd liked Mullenbach's Women Heroes of World War II possibly because it's much general and doesn't really get in depth with any particular woman's experiences That said it does cover an important subject Americans have as a nation been all too willing to forget that protecting racism was important than winning World War II As in it's preferable to have a hospital for vets be understaffed than to stoop to the horror of hiring black women as nurses As in German prisoners of war being given preferential treatment over black soldiers As in recruiting offices being shut down for the day to avoid giving applications to black women As in pools needing to be shut down to be cleaned and sterilized after being used by black men and women risking their lives for their country It's appalling stuff and even appalling is how those who directly sabotaged the war effort through their own racism were never really made to account for their actions

  2. says:

    I have been given the great honor of blurbing this book Here's one of my attemptsMullenbach has done a great service in telling the stories of these pre Civil Rights women who had to fight through racial injustice in order to win the right to fight Fascism The humiliations they had to endure makes for tough reading but their inspiring determination shines through every pageBut this is what I actually sent in on MondayCheryl Mullenbach has done a great service in telling the stories of these determined black women who fought racial injustice two decades before the Civil Rights movement in order to win the right to fight Fascism alongside their fellow Americans Double Victory is at once heartbreaking and inspiring”

  3. says:

    February is Black History Month and way back in 2011 I looked at a book about African American soldiers in World War II called The Double V Campaign African Americans and World War II by Michael L Cooper The Double V Campaign demanded that African Americans who were risking their lives fighting for freedom and democracy abroad should be given full civil rights at home Victory at home AND abroad Cooper's book is an interesting well researched book but it doesn't tell the whole story of the Double Victory Campaign The Double V campaign was also waged on the home front and women played a very important partIn her book Double Victory How African American Women Broke Race and Gender Barriers to Help Win World War II Cheryl Mullenbach brings together the lives and work of a number of strong brave women in four areas women who worked in the war industry women who became political activists women in the military volunteers and of course women in entertainment Here are only a few of the many stories covered in Mullenbach's bookHigh school teacher Layle Lane was asked by A Philip Randolph a Civil Righs leader to help organize a March on Washington in 1941 to end discrimination in employment since most defense plants would not hire African Americans The march never happened but Lane was in on the talks with President Roosevelt that led to the issuance of Executive Order Number 8802 which meant if you discriminate the Fair Employment Practices Committee can investigate you It wasn't perfect but it was a startPauli Murray a female law student let students from Howard University in peaceful direct action sit in at a restaurant that refused to serve African Americans Three by three the students entered sat and asked for service When that was refused they stayed seated and began to uietly study Police couldn't arrest them because by not being served they weren't breaking the law The owner closed for the day but when he reopened the next day the students held a peaceful picket outside and after a few days of lost business the Whites Only sign came downThe women who joined the WAAC Women's Army Auxiliary Corps once it was opened to African Americans discovered the racism and segregation followed them into the military just as it had followed men of color Nevertheless the women soldered on and succeeded And eventually Charity Adams even became the first African American woman officer in the WAACs and commanded the 6888th Central Postal Battalion see Mare's War by Tanita Davis for an interesting and accurate fictional account of one women's experience in the 6888thStar power carries a lot of weight and in WWII it was not different When the Hollywood Victory Campaign was formed actress Hattie McDaniel was asked to be in charge of Negro talent section Hattie who had won an Academy Award in 1940 for playing Mammy in Gone with the Wind helped to organize black entertainers to perform in the segregated all black units of the armed forces This work reuired the entertainers would need to meet freuently usually at Hattie's house But she lived in a restricted area meaning no blacks allowed So when the white homeowners filed a legal complaint Hattie fought back and wonLena Horne one of my favorite singers was a favorite during the 1930s and 1940s and she was also part of the Hollywood Victory Campaign Mullenbach tells about the time on a southern USO tour Lena performed one night to a white only audience and the next morning in the mess hall she was to perform for the black soldiers But in the front row were German POWs She left the stage stood in front of the black soldiers back to the Germans and sang She ended up uitting the USO tour over this but continued entertaining soldiers throughout the war These are just a few of the many interesting women included in Double Victory How African American Women Broke Race and Gender Barriers to Help Win World War II It is a well researched nicely presented book with lots of supporting photographs and detailed back matter It is intelligently written yet very accessible for young readers The fact that she introduces us to ordinary women doing extraordinary things in wartime makes it all the valuable And while it is good to know that anyone can make a difference not just famous people it is also nice to read about the contributions of so many African American women which are often overlookedKathryn Atwood started a narrative about women and their courageous acts in WWII in her work Women Heroes of World War II and Cheryl Mullenbach has extended that narrative to include African American women in Double Victory How African American Women Broke Race and Gender Barriers to Help Win World War II This book is recommended for readers age 12This book was an E ARC from Net Galley

  4. says:

    This book highlights the tremendous contributions of many women who were overlooked in our history books

  5. says:

    I'm so glad I read this book Definitely an eye opener for too much of the American public There are far too many examples of ridiculousness involved here That's actually a credit to the author The examples are great and I love that she seemed to drop as many names as possible It's nice to put as many names out there as possible with a book like thisThe ridiculousness has to do with the racists I know it was the 40's but I'm flat out appalled by some of the examples presented here Foolish fellow that I am I failed to preceive racism in its full value despite the wearing of an American military uniform God bless these women who contributed to the cause in spite of everything

  6. says:

    So disappointing I couldn't bring myself to finish it Such a rich and important topic and such a dry sanitized presentation that speaks down to its audience

  7. says:

    I really wanted to likethis book I loved the idea of how African American women pushed the boundaries to get eual rights but wow was this dry I couldn't finish it

  8. says:

    Double Victory How African American Women Broke Race and Gender Barriers to Help Win World War II is written by Cheryl Mullenbach and pays homage to African American Women and how they broke both race and gender barriers to help with the war effort This book is divided into five chapters War Workers Political Activists In the Military Volunteers and EntertainersMullenbach has written powerful and riveting African American women who did extraordinary things to help their country during the Second World War There are wide range of remarkable African American women as war workers political activists military women volunteers and entertainers It was a rather interesting read and informative about this particular time for women of colorAll in all Double Victory How African American Women Broke Race and Gender Barriers to Help Win World War II is a wonderfully written book of women of color – particularly of African American women who broke both gender and race barriers that greatly helped out in the war effort It is a good read and reference book for anyone who wants to learn about women in history

  9. says:

    Excellent subject matter poor writing The women in The Girls of Atomic City came to life but the women in Double Victory are flatIt is still worth reading In school I remember learning about Harriet Tubman and Martin Luther King Jr Once in a while we heard about Rosa Parks and Frederick Douglass but African Americans contributed much to our history and I'd like to see of that taught in our public schools Actually being a history buff I'd like to see a lot history taught in our schools We talk about George Washington Abraham Lincoln Franklin D Roosevelt and Edison but there is so much And I'd like to see history taught right it isn't dates and places history is people and reasons whyTell the stories and the children will listen

  10. says:

    This is a generous 3 stars While I know it’s considered YA nonfiction and meant for younger readers the writing is very poor I also don’t like that they censor the word “Nigger” in it This is black history and it’s important to read the word and see the harm it has instead of white washing it The only reason I get it a 3 is the fact that I learned why people saved their fat from cooking during the war a uestion that has been bugging me as I have been reading newspapers from the war and have seen ads about saving the fats Also I think it’s a ok introduction to these women but not great but at least the title didn’t have the word “girls” in it I probably wouldn’t recommend it