ww2 interview2 - Nicole Chan 22 March 2010 Sandy Perot...

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Nicole Chan 22 March 2010 Sandy Perot Interview with Wanda Baker: An African-American Woman Serving the Military During World War II Q : How would you describe your experience as an African-American woman in the military? Baker : To be honest, not like it would be a surprise anyway, but it being a black woman in the military was certainly no walk in the park. It wasn’t exactly the most pleasant experience to say the least. As a matter of fact, it was one of the most brutal, yet enlightening experiences I have ever had in my life. Well starting off with the obvious, life was especially tough for me because my social status was as low as it could get, being black and a woman. I’m familiar with the racism issue because I’ve lived through it my whole life. But until I joined the military and entered the workforce during the end of the war, it gave discrimination a whole new meaning. 1 Q : What do you mean by a whole new meaning of discrimination? How were you discriminated against in the military? 1 Kerber and DeHart, 488
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Baker : HA! I think the question is how we were not discriminated against. I mean from the very beginning we were treated unfairly. We weren’t even allowed entry into the military until the end of the war. Of course we were limited in the positions we could fulfill; but black men were only permitted to attain lower status positions with no opportunity to excel. As a woman, we were literally at rock bottom and treated fairly poorly. 2 But it ultimately goes back to the initial reason of why us women were discouraged from the military. Serving is a “man‘s duty.” we were the nation’s last resort, a temporary “stand-in.” 3 Q : And how were you discriminated in the work place? Baker
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ww2 interview2 - Nicole Chan 22 March 2010 Sandy Perot...

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