PBS Books, in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), hosts the third installment of their virtual program entitled: “Visions of America: All Stories, All People, All Places” commemorating the 75th anniversary of the desegregation of the Armed Forces. This conversation is part of the America250 celebration.
Led by IMLS Director Crosby Kemper, scholars Matthew Delmont, Ph.D. and Jeffrey Sammons, Ph.D. and Brigadier General Terry V. Williams engage in a conversation exploring the role people of color played in the armed forces from the Revolutionary War through the passage of President Harry Truman’s Executive Order 9981, which created the President’s Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services and beyond. Connecting to our earlier conversations about our country’s promises and obligations, this program highlights the important role of African Americans and people of color in our country’s history and wars, which has often been overlooked.
Watch our additional virtual conversations featuring authors Jeffery Sammons and Matthew Delmont.
Additional Conversation with Jeffery Sammons
Additional Conversation with Matthew Delmont
ABOUT “Visions of America: All Stories, All People, All Places” SERIES
“Visions of America: All Stories, All People, All Places” is a digital-first series of videos and conversations that explores our nation with a renewed interest in the places, people, and stories that have contributed to the America we live in today. Also available on Facebook and Youtube. Beginning in fall 2023, IMLS Director Crosby Kemper will lead a video tour through three lesser-known historical sites that symbolize an aspect of the spirit of America’s independence. The half-hour episodes include notable historians and authors who will share the tales and themes that reverberate inside the walls of these institutions. Viewers will explore the cities these organizations call home to showcase what makes each of these communities so important to America’s identity.
Beginning in fall 2023, IMLS Director Crosby Kemper will lead a video tour through three lesser-known historical sites that symbolize an aspect of the spirit of America’s independence. The half-hour episodes include notable historians and authors who will share the tales and themes that reverberate inside the walls of these institutions. Viewers will explore the cities these organizations call home to showcase what makes each of these communities so important to America’s identity.
ABOUT THE FEATURED GUEST: Matthew F. Delmont, PH.D.
Matthew F. Delmont is the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor of History at Dartmouth College. A Guggenheim Fellow and expert on African American history and the history of civil rights, he is the author of the new book, Half American: The Epic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad (Viking, 2022), which was awarded the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. He is also the author of four previous books: Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African American Newspapers (Stanford University Press, 2019); Why Busing Failed: Race, Media, and the National Resistance to School Desegregation (University of California Press, 2016); Making Roots: A Nation Captivated (UC Press, 2016); and The Nicest Kids in Town: American Bandstand, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and the Struggle for Civil Rights in 1950s Philadelphia (UC Press, 2012). His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and on NPR. Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Delmont earned his BA from Harvard University and his MA and PhD from Brown University.
ABOUT THE FEATURED GUEST: Jeffrey T. Sammons, PH.D.
Jeffrey T. Sammons is professor emeritus of history at New York University where he taught for 33 years. His first book is Beyond the Ring: The Role of Boxing in American Society. He is coauthor of Harlem’s Rattlers and the Great War: The Undaunted 369th Regiment and the African American Quest for Equality. He was a History Adviser to the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission, and a founding member of its Valor Medal Review Task Force. He currently serves on the Medal of Honor Museum’s Advisory Panel.
ABOUT THE FEATURED GUEST: Brigadier General Terry V. Williams
Brigadier General Terry V. Williams is a dynamic and accomplished leader currently serving as the Senior Vice President, Global Fixed Assets at PenFed Credit Union. Prior to joining PenFed, Terry founded Van Williams LLC, a successful consulting company specializing in Facilities Management, Logistics Innovation, Disaster Preparedness & Resiliency, and Executive Coaching.
Before his ventures in the corporate world, Terry’s distinguished career spanned over three decades in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he achieved the prestigious rank of Brigadier General. His military service shaped him into a versatile leader, equipped with expertise in logistics, city management, strategic communication, and resource management. Terry’s remarkable background in leading multifunctional, highly complex organizations makes him an invaluable asset in optimizing efficiency and effectiveness across PenFed’s global fixed assets. Terry earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the esteemed University of California, Los Angeles, and Master’s Degrees in National Security from both the Naval War College and the National War College.
ABOUT THE MODERATOR: Crosby Kemper
Crosby Kemper is the sixth director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. He was commissioned by the White House on January 24, 2020, following his confirmation by the United States Senate. IMLS, an independent government agency, is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s museums and libraries.
Kemper is a dedicated advocate for education and learning for people of all ages and backgrounds. He came to IMLS from the Kansas City Public Library, where as director, he established the library as one of the city’s leading cultural destinations and a hub of community engagement. Beginning his IMLS tenure at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kemper provided exceptional support and leadership to communities by elevating issues of pandemic impact, poverty, race, and the digital divide as part of the IMLS grantmaking process.
Along with leaders of fellow cultural agencies the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, Kemper is a member of the re-established President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, as well as the congressionally mandated Information Literacy Taskforce. He is an ex officio member of the US Semiquincentennial Commission. As such, he has engaged museum, library, and arts leaders in deep conversations about American history and the Semiquincentennial. He also launched IMLS’s 250 initiative, “IMLS 250: All Stories. All People. All Places.”