Wednesday, July 17, 2019

World at War: Standing Up Against Hate

Standing Up Against Hate: How Black Women in the Army Helped Change the Course of World War II. Mary Cronk Farrell. 2019. 208 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: It was a wet, gunmetal-gray February in 1945. Rank upon rank of American khaki-clad soldiers marched down the gangplank of the Ile de France in Glasgow, Scotland.

Premise/plot: Standing Up Against Hate is a children's nonfiction book about African American women serving in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps and Women's Army Corps. (The name switched from WAAC to WAC towards the end of the war. But it was much more than a name change.) It is the story of one woman--Charity Adams--it is the story of many women. It gives young readers (elementary, middle school) a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what it was like to be an African American WOMAN serving during the second world war. They faced prejudice because they were women; they faced prejudice because they were African American. How you were treated, what your experience was like, varied greatly based on WHERE you served and WHOM you served. (Some people could be JERKS.) Towards the end of the war, one unit (led by Charity Adams) did get to serve overseas. But as I mentioned before, this isn't just the story of one battalion. The book touches on many different experiences, many different voices.

My thoughts: I found this to be a super-compelling, super-fascinating read. I have read many books set during this time period. I've never--to my recollection--read one about the WAC, let alone one that focuses on the African American experience. It was an eye-opener. It was good--really good. My background--in terms of women in the military during this time period--focuses on the WASP which I know excluded black women. I would definitely recommend this one. 

© 2019 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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