When Johnny Came Marching Home

Another February has come and gone. Weekly galas and daily celebrations are paused until next year. Afrocentric wearables and yards of Kente cloth are laundered and safely tucked away on shelves and hangers until next year..., unless you are a cultural museum whose focus is the history and culture of African Americans. It is March, and our journey, our work, and our stories continue.

Colored Soldiers, currently on exhibit at Bertha Lee Strickland Cultural Museum, tells one facet of America's struggle with racism and bigotry. The exhibit focuses on African American military men and women who bravely fought on foreign soil to ensure the freedom of others only to find themselves fighting a violent oppression within the walls of the most powerful "free nation" on earth--because they were born "Negro."

The Colored Soldiers exhibit features, "A War on Two Fronts" traveling exhibit, created by students at the Athenaeum Press of Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina. This traveling exhibit focuses on WWII which was the last military combat fought by a legally segregated armed forces. In addition to the traveling exhibit, local veterans who served in numerous branches of the military and their spouses are presented along with artifacts and related information from World War II through the Vietnam era.

The interactive exhibit combines tradition and technology to present a compelling look into the experiences of African American military men and women who wanted only to be loved by their America as much as they loved being American.

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