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Double Victory Campaign button

Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


Double Victory Campaign

In early 1942, shortly after America’s entry into World War II, a growing movement was underway by an African-American newspaper and known as the Pittsburgh Courier’s Double Victory Campaign. The Pittsburgh Courier had been established in 1907 and by the 1930’s had a readership equaling the Afro-American as well as the Chicago Defender.

The campaign resulted from a letter the Courier featured on January 31, 1942 from an African-American in Kansas who though expressing his patriotism was confounded by the oppression and discrimination he received on a daily basis. The newspaper’s response which appeared two weeks later formally launched the Double Victory Campaign:

“We as colored Americans, are determined to protect our country, our form of government, and the freedom which we cherish for ourselves and the rest of the world, therefore we have adopted the Double ‘V’ war cry – victory over our enemies at home and victory over our enemies on the battlefields abroad. This is our fight for freedom as we wage a two pronged attack against our enslavers at home and those abroad who would enslave us. WE HAVE A STAKE IN THIS FIGHT… WE ARE AMERICANS, TOO!”

As the button above depicts, with a “Double V” sign designed by the newspaper, the campaign sought victory abroad, as well as “at home” in the way of democracy and civil rights. Future newspaper articles, letters, editorials and photographs portrayed the patriotism and willingness of African-Americans to serve and die for their country, while at the same time experiencing inequality and discrimination at home.

On April 5, 1942 the National Baptist Convention along with several other African-American organizations declared Easter Sunday, April 5, 1942 as National Negro Double Victory Day. National Negro Double Victory Day gathered support from clergy across the nation to support this dual agenda.

The Pittsburgh Courier suffered declining circulation after the war, and in 1965 was sold to the Chicago Defender. It is published today with the name, “The New Pittsburgh Courier.”



Collection Location:
Allegany County, Maryland

African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.

Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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