History telling at the kitchen table: Private Joseph Shields, World War II, and mother-centered memory in the late twentieth century

Robert F. Jefferson, Angelita Reyes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This essay adds to the discourses of African American history, military history, and autobiography that focus on the process of collective memory telling in black families in the latter half of the twentieth century. By exploring an African American family's postwar recollection of the homicide of a black soldier during the Second World War, this essay examines the relationship between memory and history. It reconstructs how the parameters of World War II shaped the wartime experiences of African American servicemen and their families' memory of the "Good War" in a period of national forgetting. By exploring the episodes of memory-telling among black family members of those who stood in the ranks of America's armed forces during World War II, the importance of investigating aspects of the tension between memory and history in African American culture in the twentieth century can be discerned.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)430-458
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Family History
Volume27
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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