During the past few weeks, I’ve been working on a new project for the National Postal Museum. Calvin has asked me to research several topics related to African-American soldiers and mail delivery during World War I.
When I began my work on this project, I was able to provide him with a variety of materials about, and references to articles and books about, the soldiers. Recently, Calvin sent me a detailed description of his larger project for on ground and online exhibitions related to this topic. He also asked me to research specific angles that he needs more information on.
One of Dr. Brennan’s questions about the internship was:
- Did you encounter something that challenged you? How did you deal with the challenge?
The latest research questions have challenged me. I’ve been learning a lot about the different African-American troops in WWI and about the existing scholarly and primary sources related to them. I’ve learned about racism in the military during this time, and what I have been reading is disturbing, but I’m glad to have a greater understanding of the issues involved. It has been tough to find information about how these soldiers, who were sent abroad and fought in French units before the U.S. entered the war, sent and received letters. I continue to search to answer all of the questions that Calvin posed and to brainstorm about new research angles.
Since I am teaching three sections of US History II, my work on this topic has been very helpful. I have discussed African-American soldiers during World War I with my students and have shared images with them. I’m very grateful to have this knowledge to share.
As the semester progresses, I hope to be able to contribute to both of the National Postal Museum exhibitions. Calvin has other projects in mind for me to begin once we have finished working on this one.