CLEVELAND — Soul Soldiers: African Americans and the Vietnam Era, a multimedia exhibit exploring the issues, actions, reactions and expressions of life and culture of African-Americans resulting from the Vietnam War and Civil Rights Movement opens May 15 at the Western Reserve Historical Society University Circle Complex.
This exhibit illustrates African-Americans’ experiences during this tumultuous period through artifacts, photographs, art, an original documentary, oral histories and audio stations featuring 30 songs from the Vietnam era.
The exhibit is sponsored by the African-American Archives Auxiliary of WRHS and is the institution’s first venture into exploring the Vietnam War and its effect on our culture and society.
Just one month after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. publicly expressed his opposition to the Southeast Asia crisis in April 1967, Time magazine published groundbreaking articles based on interviews with African-American GIs in Vietnam.
These two events helped frame the African-American social and political perspective of the 1960s that went beyond civil rights.
Soul Soldiers demonstrates that Vietnam was no isolated battleground; it was a crucible for African-American soldiers’ emerging political and cultural consciousness.
Soul Soldiers was developed by Pittsburgh’s Senator John Heinz History Center and continues at WRHS through November 27.
Western Reserve Historical Society’s University Circle Complex is at 10825 East Blvd, Cleveland. Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $8.50 for adults; $7.50 for seniors; $5 for students ages 3-17.
WRHS Members receive free admission. Vietnam veterans will be admitted free of charge to this exhibit and the entire University Circle Complex. All veterans will receive free admission on Wednesdays. For information call 216-721-5722 or visit www.wrhs.org.
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