During World War II, 600,000 African-American women entered the wartime workforce. Previously, black women’s work in the United States was largely limited to domestic service and agricultural work, and wartime industries meant new and better-paying opportunities — if they made it through the hiring process, that is. White women were the targets of the U.S. government’s propaganda efforts, as embodied in the lasting and lauded image of Rosie the Riveter.
Though largely ignored in America’s popular history of World War II, black women’s important contributions in World War II factories, which weren’t always so welcoming, are stunningly captured in these comparably rare snapshots of black Rosie the Riveters.
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