Published on November 5th, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


Black South Carolinian Military Service in WWI Honored – An Afternoon at Mann-Simons


Historic Columbia, in partnership with Columbia SC 63 Our Story Matters, host a discussion of the important role African Americans from South Carolina served in World War I. Authors Dr. Janet Hudson, USC, and Ms. Sonya Hodges-Grantham, co-founder of Veterans Formation, will lead the talk.

Did you know that during World War I African American soldiers from South Carolina made up the vast majority of soldiers in the 371st Infantry Regiment, the only regiment of drafted soldiers to serve directly with the French, wearing French uniforms and carrying French weapons? Organized and trained at Camp Jackson, the 371st Infantry served honorably, suffered heavy causalities, and earned the recognition of both French and American military leaders. Additionally, South Carolinian Corporal Freddie Stowers, the only African American in WWI awarded the Medal of Honor, fought and died with this unit.

This Veterans Day come learn more about the men who served their nation in this unique unit from South Carolina. You will find on display the names of all the African American soldiers who served in the 371st along with the unit’s white officers. Also featured will be a number of other artifacts including original photos and maps of Camp Jackson.

The discussion is free and open to the public.

Author biographies:

Sonya Renae Hodges-Grantham, lifelong resident of Columbia, South Carolina, holds a B.A. from Columbia College and Continuing Education Credits from John Hopkins Bloomberg. A dedicated public servant, Hodges-Grantham is co-founder of Veterans Formation, non-profit that aids homeless veterans; sole restorer and curator of Childs Cemetery; and author of four books on local history.

Janet G. Hudson, Ph.D. is associate professor of history at USC-Extended University and author of the awarding winning book, Entangled by White Supremacy: Reform in World War I-Era South Carolina. In 2016, Hudson has two forthcoming chapters regarding Black Carolinians during World War I in two different books—one focused on soldiers’ experiences and the other on civilian home front leaders.


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