, 10 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Today I'm thinking about the "Double V" campaign during World War II & how black Americans were fighting both fascism abroad & racism at home. A letter written by James G. Thompson, published in the Pittsburgh Courier on January 31, 1942 is what started it all. Here's an excerpt:
"...Being an American of dark complexion and some 26 years, these questions flash through my mind: "Should I sacrifice my life to live half American?" "Will things be better for the next generation in the peace to follow?" Would it be demanding too much to demand..."
"...full citizenship rights in exchange for the sacrificing of my life. Is the kind of America I know worth defending? Will America be a true & pure democracy after this war? Will colored Americans suffer still the indignities that have been heaped upon them in the past?..."
"...These & other questions need answering...I believe every colored American, who is thinking, wants to know. This may be the wrong time to broach such subjects, but haven't all good things obtained by men been secured through sacrifice during just such times of strife?..."
"...I suggest that while we keep defense and victory in the forefront that we don't loose sight of our fight for true democracy at home..."
"The V for Victory sign is being displayed prominently in all so-called democratic countries which are fighting for victory over aggression, slavery & tyranny. If this V sign means that to those now engaged in this great conflict then let colored Americans adopt the double VV.."
"...for a double victory. The first V for victory over our enemies from without, the second V for victory over our enemies within. For surely those who perpetrate these ugly prejudices here are seeing to destroy our democratic form of government just as surely as the Axis forces"
"...This should not and would not lessen our efforts to bring this conflict to a successful conclusion; but should and would make us stronger to resist these evil forces which threaten us. America could become united as never before and become truly the home of democracy."
You can read the full letter here:

"Ultimately, remembering the Double V campaign means remembering when African-American activists saw their struggle at home as part of a broader, internationalist struggle for self-determination among many different peoples of color."

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