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Veterans History — WVU Students, Faculty Collecting Stories From Black WWII Veterans


West Virginia University’s P.I. Reed School of Journalism is looking for Black World War II veterans and wartime service workers to tell their stories for a multimedia project.

The school is collecting the oral histories so these memories can be saved for future generations.

“The Library of Congress told us that African-American veterans were underrepresented in the Veterans History Project archives,” says acting Dean Maryanne Reed.

These stories, as well as personal documents and photographs, will be combined with archival film footage, text and music. They’ll be made into a DVD and also a book.

Joel Beeson, director of the West Virginia Veterans History Project, is particularly interested in finding more women to tell their stories. Nearly 30 interviews have already been completed.

The project is funded by a West Virginia Humanities Council grant. It builds on the journalism school’s Veteran’s History Project, which Beeson also directed.

Over the last two years, journalism students and faculty collected more than 100 oral histories from state veterans for that project. Students also trained civic groups across the state to collect stories.

— Associated Press

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