Negroes and the War. Chandler Owen.
Negroes and the War
Negroes and the War
Negroes and the War
Negroes and the War
Negroes and the War
Negroes and the War
Negroes and the War
Negroes and the War
Negroes and the War

Negroes and the War

[Washington, DC]: United States Office of War Information, [1942]. Pamphlet.

This 10” x 13” pamphlet contains 72 unnumbered pages encouraging African-Americans to support the U.S. effort in World War Two. Complete, but as usually found, it is quite worn as it was printed on cheap acidic paper. There is extensive repair to the cover with what looks like archival tape.

This propaganda pamphlet was issued to drum up African-American support for the U.S. participation in World War II. It contains Chandler’s introduction followed by a series of photo-essays titled: “We’ve come a long way, We have built great institutions, From the humblest beginnings . . . out of our deepest need we have built the Negro Church, The Negro farmer’s life improves steadily with Government help, In the city, We go forward in health, The young generation in the city, and In the Armed Forces.”

The half-tone images in this pamphlet are exceptional and include home, farm, work, the Tuskegee airmen, and other military scenes as well as portraits of contemporary African-American celebrities in business, medicine, entertainment, and the arts including music and literature. The most impressive page in the pamphlet is inside the rear cover and features a full-page image of champion boxer Joe Louis in an Army combat uniform lunging forward with fixed bayonet. Good. Item #009292

Chandler Owen, was an exceptionally popular and influential African-American writer, editor, and political activist, who as the founder of the socialist journal, The Messenger, campaigned vociferously against African-American participation in World War One. He eventually became disenchanted with leftist politics, and by the time World War Two began, Owen was a prominent member of the Republican Party. Despite his disgust with President Roosevelt and the Democratic Party’s policies toward African-Americans, Owen accepted a position with the Office of War Information where he authored this pamphlet.

This important publication is fairly scarce and seldom found complete. Most of the two million copies have disintegrated over the years, and extant examples are usually ragged and tattered. This example shows significant wear but is in far better shape than many, even those found inside institutions.

As of 2019, no examples are for sale in the trade, and per Rare Book Hub, it has only appeared once at auction. Although digital and microform editions of the pamphlet are available, OCLC shows only seven institutions hold physical examples in their collections. Faults so priced accordingly.

Price: $225.00

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