Vincent Tubbs and the Baltimore Afro-American: The black American press, race, and culture in the World War II Pacific theatre

David J. Longley

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This article examines the wartime writings of journalist
Vincent Tubbs. Tubbs, a war correspondent for the Baltimore AfroAmerican,
one of the United States' largest black newspapers, spent the latter
half of the war reporting on the activities of black soldiers in Australia
and the Pacific. At the cessation of hostilities, Tubbs was dispatched to
Japan to cover the first few months of the US occupation. Despite claims by
historians that there existed little in the way of genuine animosity between
African American soldiers and the Japanese, Tubbs's writings about Japan
and its people are highly antagonistic, bordering on racist. At the same time,
Tubbs's articles on Australia and its people were highly complimentary,
emphasizing the bonds of friendship forming between black soldiers and
Australia's white citizens. The gulf between Tubbs's positive articles on a
white, western people and his negative articles on a non-white, non-western
people complicates understandings of African American attitudes toward
the Pacific campaign, adding nuance to understandings of the relationship between race and culture in the eyes of African American observers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-80
Number of pages20
JournalAustralasian Journal of American Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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