This program is part of a series of programs that are affiliated with our temporary exhibition Choosing to Participate: The Power of Civic Engagement. The exhibit will be open during the event, and we encourage you to view it during your visit to the Museum. Come early to enjoy the final Choosing to Participate Curator’s Tour at 11:00 a.m.
Choosing to Participate
Lunch & Learn: World War II Veterans and the Civil Rights Movement
Friday, July 25, 2014
11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
The Florida Historic Capitol Museum invites you to join us for a Lunch and Learn on Friday, July 25, 2014, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Attendees will learn about African American veterans returning from World War II and their impact on the Civil Rights Movement through the research findings of Bryan Higham. Higham is a United States Army combat veteran and a master’s student of American history at the University of North Florida. Higham spent five years in the United States Army as an infantryman. During his tenure in the military, Higham earned the rank of sergeant and numerous awards and decorations during his two deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After exiting the service, Bryan utilized his military benefits to return to school and earn his bachelor's degree and continue on with his master’s degree. Higham’s work explores how military service and training contributed to African American veterans' ability to challenge the existing structures that subverted black equality in Northeast Florida.
Black World War II veterans faced not only the typical challenges of returning to civilian life but also the fight for equality. African American soldiers received training in various fields like combat, supply, and intelligence. This training translated into useful skills in the postwar period. The experiences of black soldiers while overseas also played a pivotal role, especially their interaction with foreign cultures. Often foreigners referred to black soldiers as "American" leaving off any racial distinction. Additionally, black veterans were able to attend college in unprecedented numbers because of their GI Bill benefits. Black World War II veterans led a renewed charge that laid the foundation for the more well-known civil rights activities in the 1960s and 1970s. This generation of veterans was part of a much longer Civil Rights Movement, a concept that scholars are continually working to expand and explore.
Please join us to learn about and discuss this pivotal era of American history. Bring your own lunch or reserve a box lunch by calling (850) 487-1902. Box lunches are FREE for ROTC, active military, and veterans, $5 for Museum Members, and $10 for non-members. Seating is limited, please RSVP.
Thank You to Our Sponsor
The Florida Historic Capitol Foundation, as the Direct Support Organization for the Museum, extends its deepest appreciation to the following sponsor for their generous support and efforts in making this event possible.