The city of West Des Moines held a Black History Month event, the “Double V Campaign” celebrating Blacks in the armed forces, on the last day of the month-long celebration.
Al Womble, chair of the Iowa Democratic Black Caucus, led the presentation about Blacks’ efforts to fight in the U.S. military during a time of segregation and the fight for civil rights upon their return. A panel of community leaders discussed their military service.
The “Double V Campaign” stood for victory abroad, victory at home. According to the documentary, “The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords,” James Thompson, a cafeteria worker from Kansas who wrote a letter during WWII to the Pittsburgh Courier, a famed Black newspaper, is credited with the idea behind “double victory.”