We Return Fighting

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We Return Fighting: World War I and the Shaping of Modern Black Identity is a richly illustrated commemoration of African Americans' roles in World War I highlighting how the wartime experience reshaped their lives and their communities after they returned home. This stunning book presents artifacts, medals, and photographs alongside powerful essays that together highlight the efforts of African Americans during World War I. The book also presents the work of black citizens on the home front. Together their efforts laid the groundwork for later advances in the civil rights movement.

We Return Fighting reminds readers not only of the central role of African American soldiers in the war that first made their country a world power. It also reveals the way the conflict shaped African American identity and lent fuel to their longstanding efforts to demand full civil rights and to stake their place in the country's cultural and political landscape.

Museum Story

The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture's mission is to provide for the collection, study, and establishment of programs and exhibitions relating to African American life, art, history, and culture. Contributors to this volume include Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III, Lisa Budreau, Brittney Cooper, John Morrow, Krewasky Salter, Chad Williams, Jay Winter, and Joseph Zimet.


  • Hardcover
  • 144 pages
  • Features more than 100 illustrations and photographs