Campus Documentary Viewing - "The Marines of Montford Point: Fighting for Freedom"

Monday, April 30, 2007

The Marines of Montford Point integrated the USMCThe Department of Social Sciences will be showing the hour-long documentary film, “The Marines of Montford Point: Fighting for Freedom,” on Monday, April 23, and Monday, April 30, 2007, in Nance Hall room 309 at 5 p.m.

The film, narrated by Academy Award winner Louis Gossett Jr., is a product of the Montford Point Marines Project (MPMP): Documentary Video and Educational Resources grant, funded by the Office of Naval Research, Department of the Navy.

Recruited as a result of America’s entry into World War II, the Marines of Montford Point are truly a unique group of African-American Marines who from 1942 until 1949 trained at the segregated Montford Point Camp, now a part of Camp Lejeune, Marine Corps base located in Jacksonville, N.C. The existence and exploits of the more than 20,000 marines who trained at Montford Point are largely unknown to the American public, yet these men played a crucial role in bringing segregation to an end in the United States and in fighting the Second World War, the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War. Because the ranks of the men of Montford Point are rapidly dwindling it was critical that their story be recorded and told.

The Montford Point Marines Project is a collaborative effort between South Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Visit the project online at http://library.uncw.edu/web/montford/

The Marines of Montford Point fought for the United States while contending with racial prejudice within American society in general, with the rigid racial segregation of the American South, and with strong initial resistance from the Marine Corps itself. Their accomplishments are a testimony to the ability, courage and patriotism of these men who are extraordinary, if largely unsung, members of what journalist Tom Brokaw has called the “Greatest Generation.”

Their story also affirms the ability of American society to pursue its ideals of justice and equality for all its members, despite an imperfect past. With this documentary, the Marines of Montford Point will now take their place in history along side the U.S. Army’s Buffalo Soldiers and the U.S. Army-Air Corps’ Tuskegee Airmen.

Come and watch the story of the first African Americans to integrate the Marine Corps unfold!