Looking back at lives of black GIs in Dorset

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2013-06-14 21:22Z by Steven

Looking back at lives of black GIs in Dorset

Dorset Echo
Weymouth, Dorset, England

James Tourgout

A NEW exhibition is highlighting the stories of black soldiers in Dorset during World War Two.

It explores the lives of African American servicemen who headed to Dorset to train for D-Day and is showing at Weymouth library until June 14.

It comes in the week following the 69th anniversary of the D-Day landings in France.

The exhibition—entitled 1944 We Were Here: African American GIs in Dorset—was successfully launched last May at Walford Mill Crafts in Wimborne. Louisa Adjoa Parker, a Dorchester writer and poet of British and Ghanaian heritage, carried out the research into this part of local history, which has been little explored so far…

Louisa specialises in local black history and has written several books and exhibitions exploring the presence of black and minority ethnic people in Dorset. Louisa said: “This local history has not been explored in great detail until recently, and is arguably an important part of Dorset’s heritage.

“It was important to gather the stories now, as the GIs’ children and the local people who remember the GIs are getting older. “The African Americans’ presence here left behind a lasting legacy—cultural influences, memories and stories that have been passed down in families and become part of local folklore, and a number of their children as a result of relation-ships with local women.”

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