KALAMAZOO, MI – A mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kalamazoo pointed to a black and white photograph of U.S. Army General George S. Patton pinning a Silver Star Medal on an African American soldier during World War II.
“Thank God you’ll never have to see a war like that,” Howard Lynch said to the Little Brother he mentors, Zack Skiles.
The “African Americans in World War II” exhibit at theKalamazoo Valley Museum opened on January 12, displaying 40 photographs of how life was for men and women during the most widespread war in human history.
“It’s interesting we’re finally starting to feature African Americans in military history,” Lynch said. “It’s nice to see them get their day in the sun.”
The exhibit on the first floor gallery is on loan from The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History. On the walls are photographs of famous soldiers such as heavyweight boxer Joe Louis and Benjamin O. Davis, the first African American General Officer in military history, and also unknown privates engaging in everyday military life.