Matthew Delmont, Professor of History at Dartmouth, talks about his new book Half American: The Epic Story of African American Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad.    This program is co-sponsored by Difficult Conversations About Race (DCAR) and Howe Library.  

This is a hybrid program.  Join us in person in the Mayer Room or online via Zoom.  Register in advance for a Zoom link here. 

This program is co-sponsored by the Howe Library and Difficult Conversations About Race, a monthly open community forum created to address personal and systemic racism. Initiated in 2015 and facilitated by anti-bias educator Ellen Bettmann, the aim of Difficult Conversations About Race is for members to learn about racism with the goal of becoming active participants in creating a more just society.

For Black Americans World War II was about not only America’s standing in the world but also about how much actual freedom would exist in the United States. Black troops fought bravely in combat and they formed the backbone of the United States military’s supply effort, all while fighting in a segregated military. Black veterans returned from the war and kept fighting white supremacy at home. Drawing on his new book, historian Matthew Delmont explains how World War II raised questions regarding race and democracy that remain unanswered more than seven decades later. This is an inspiring history of bravery and patriotism in the face of unfathomable racism.


Dr. Matthew Delmont is the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor of History at Dartmouth. An expert on African American History and the history of Civil Rights, his next book, Half American: The Epic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad, will be published by Viking Books in October 2022.  He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Public Scholar Award to support this research.  He is also the author four previous books: Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African American Newspapers (Stanford University Press, 2019); Making Roots: A Nation Captivated (University of California Press, 2016); Why Busing Failed: Race, Media, and the National Resistance to School Desegregation (UC Press, 2016); and The Nicest Kids in Town: American Bandstand, Rock 'n' Roll, and the Struggle for Civil Rights in 1950s Philadelphia (UC Press, 2012).  Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Delmont earned by B.A. from Harvard University and MA and Ph.D. from Brown University.