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New Exhibit Celebrates History Of Black Women In The U.S. Military

Maj. Charity Adams, Commander, and Captain Abbie Campbell, Executive Officer,...

Credit: National Archives and Records Administration

Above: Maj. Charity Adams, Commander, and Captain Abbie Campbell, Executive Officer, inspect the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, in England in February 1945.

New Exhibit Celebrates History of Black Women In The U.S. Military


Faye Jonason, museum director, Camp Pendleton History Museum

Lt. Col. Patricia Jackson-Kelley, U.S. Army (Ret.)


An exhibit at Camp Pendleton pays tribute to Black History Month by highlighting the contributions of black women in the U.S. armed forces from the Civil War to World War II.

The exhibit, “For the Freedom and the Right” was organized by the California African American Museum in Los Angeles. It’s on display through mid-March at the Santa Margarita Ranch House National Historic Site on Camp Pendleton.

The exhibit highlights the lives and military careers of four female service members, including Maj. Charity Adams Earley who became the first black woman commissioned as an officer in the Women's Army Corp. As commanding officer, she led the only battalion of black women to serve overseas during World War II. Major Adams wrote about her experience in her memoir "One Woman’s Army".

There are also historical photographs and other artifacts on display.

Faye Jonason, Camp Pendleton’s historian and museum director, curated the exhibit.

Jonason and Lt. Col Patricia Jackson-Kelley of the National Association of Black Military Women, discuss Wednesday on Midday Edition, the successes and struggles of black women in the military.

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