It could be a huge shock for black army women from Northern states to report for duty south of the Mason Dixon Line. They knew prejudice but had not experienced the brutality of Jim Crow Laws.
When Women's Army Corps member Ernestine Wood was sent to Ft. Oglethorpe, GA, she feared for her safety.
“When we would parade down the streets, the whites would throw rocks at us and the adults would jeer," she said. "When it was time for me to order my officers uniform, I had in a squad car and the manager of the store had to meet me at the door and escort me from counter to counter to pick out my clothes."
As Black History Month comes to a close, I've pulled out my research for the book Standing Up Against Hate to tell you more of the story of Ernestine Woods. She figures in Chapter 4, Black Women Persist.
She was sworn into the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps with a group of recruits from the Washington Military District at a public ceremony at the Cordoza High School January 7, 1943.
I'm fascinated to discover little-known history, stories of people and events that provide a new perspective on why and how things happened, new voices that haven't been heard, insight into how the past brought us here today, and how it might guide us to a better future.
I also post here about my books and feature other authors and their books on compelling and important historical topics.
Occasionally, I share what makes me happy, pictures of my garden, recipes I've made, events I've attended, people I've met. I'm always happy to hear from readers in the blog comments, by email or social media.