African American soldier's Vietnam War photograph album, circa 1965-1973 1.5 Linear Feet — 1 box; 1 album
Collection comprises a photograph album likely created by an unidentified African American soldier serving in Vietnam. There are 268 uncaptioned black-and-white and several color photographs ranging in size from 2 3/4 x 3 1/2 to 3 1/2 x 5 inches, along with 15 souvenir postcards, all carefully arranged and mounted in a large decorative travel scrapbook.
Images primarily feature off-duty African American and white servicemen in camp and off base, although few show white and black soldiers mingling. There is also a series of well-executed portraits of individual soldiers, white and black. Scenes from the streets of Saigon and perhaps other large cities abound, showing the diversity of vehicles and pedestrians; there are also some taken in smaller, unidentified towns and villages, presumably in Vietnam. The photographer took many images of markets, bars, pharmacies, and other buildings, almost always from the exteriors, as well as numerous snapshots of local citizens, chiefly women and children, often in groups, and some who appear to be frequently associated with the U.S. military base or camp.
Military locations and scenes include an air base, helicopters in flight, a crashed helicopter, military bases and personnel, Army vehicles along the roads, military police (including one African American), and what appear to be checkpoints. There are a handful of shots showing bombing raids and cleared or destroyed jungle areas.
Overall, the images in this photograph album offer a wealth of details about the Vietnam War from a variety of viewpoints.
Acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.