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The original item was published from 10/13/2015 9:41:00 AM to 10/24/2015 12:00:01 AM.

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Hampton History Museum

Posted on: October 9, 2015

[ARCHIVED] ‘The African-American Military Experience: Fighting for Ideals’

A trio of African-American veterans will share their experiences of serving their country overseas while not experiencing full equal rights at home for the Hampton History Museum’s free Oral History Project program “Our Story, Our Time - The African-American Military Experience: Fighting for Ideals” on Thursday, October 22.

Prior to the Oral History program, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., the public is encouraged to bring in images, documents and items related to life in Hampton to enter into the museum collection. Starting at 7:00 p.m., speakers will share their memories, and open the floor up to the audience to share their stories for the museum’s Oral History Project.

African-American soldiers and airmen experienced different wars than their white counterparts, in part because they were fighting for civil rights that were not yet fully extended to them.
Since the American Revolution, African Americans have continuously served in the military. Enslaved blacks who had fought for the Americans and the British envisioned full civil rights to come after the war.

Black soldiers and sailors made significant contributions and served honorably during WWI and WWII while battling racism and discrimination. Legal segregation remained in place until the Korean War, and it was not until the Vietnam War that the armed services were fully integrated.

The panel includes:
Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Burnette W. “Bernie” Peters, a Tuskegee Airman, served during the Korean War and Vietnam. Retired USAF Col. Cato L. Reaves, Sr. was a fighter pilot who flew 100 missions in his F4 Phantom over North Vietnam. He also served as an aide to Gen. Chappie James. The third panelist, Claude Vann, Jr, is a former ROTC instructor and an Army veteran.

The Hampton History Museum is located at 120 Old Hampton Lane in downtown Hampton, Virginia. There is plenty of free parking in the garage across the street. For more information, dial 757/727-1610.

Partially bordered by the Hampton Roads harbor and Chesapeake Bay, Hampton, with the 344,000 sq. ft. Hampton Roads Convention Center, is located in the center of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area. Hampton is the site of America's first continuous English-speaking settlement and is home to such visitor attractions as the Virginia Air & Space Center and Riverside IMAX ® Theater, Hampton History Museum, harbor tours and cruises, Hampton University Museum, Fort Monroe, award-winning Hampton Coliseum, The American Theatre, among others.

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