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DSU Division of Social Sciences and History presents lecture featuring Dr. Douglas Bristol

CLEVELAND, Miss. — The Division of Social Sciences and History at Delta State University is pleased to announce its upcoming spring history lecture, scheduled for Tuesday, April 23, at 7:00 p.m. in Jobe Hall Auditorium.

This event continues the tradition of bringing distinguished scholars to campus to engage the community in discussions on significant historical topics. Supported by a generous grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council, this year’s lecture promises to be enlightening and thought-provoking.

The featured speaker for this year’s lecture is Dr. Douglas Bristol, Associate Professor at the University of Southern Mississippi and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of the Gulf South. Bristol is a renowned expert in African American history, race relations, business history, and the intersection of war and society. His extensive research includes a focus on black barbers from the colonial period through the Great Migration, as well as black GIs during World War II.

Bristol’s lecture, titled “War as Labor: Mechanization, Mobilization, and the Changing Role of Black GIs in World War II,” will delve into the experiences of black soldiers during one of the most significant conflicts in modern history. As the 80th anniversaries of key events from World War II are commemorated, Bristol’s insights into the contributions and challenges faced by black GIs are seen as particularly timely and relevant.

Following the lecture, attendees are invited to a reception in the Jobe Hall lobby.

Dr. Charles Westmoreland, Chair of the Department of Social Sciences and History at Delta State, expressed enthusiasm for Bristol’s presentation, saying, “We’re excited to have Dr. Bristol speak about how World War II shaped the lives of Black GIs and how Black GIs played an instrumental role in the U.S. war efforts. War is more than battles and strategic campaigns. To get a full sense of this type of modern war, we need to dig deeper into the lives of ordinary people who ventured thousands of miles from their homes and came back to the country as transformed people. Given that we are in the midst of 80th anniversaries of the war (D-Day, 1944 to 2024; Allied victory, 1945 to 2025) and that so few of the World War II generation remain with us, it is vital that these stories continue to be told so that current and future generations understand the sacrifices made and how World War II shapes our own lives nearly a century later. Dr. Bristol will help us make sense of this extraordinary conflict and the Black GIs who fought for democracy abroad and at home.”

Admission to the lecture and reception is free and open to the public.

For more information, please contact the Delta State University Division of Social Sciences and History at (662) 846-4170.