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Negro Colleges in War Time

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Sound | 1940s

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  •  Ground school at Tuskegee University in Alabama 
  •  Dr. George Washington Carver researches nutrition 
  •  Industrial and military training at Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas 
  •  Students of Howard University in Washington, D.C. learn about celestial navigation and the chemistry of explosives 
  •  Hampton University in Virginia trains war workers on a near-24-hour basis 
  •  To support the home front, female students learn about farm management and nutrition 
 
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This 1940s educational film produced by the Office of War Information Bureau of Motion Pictures looks at how black universities across the country changed their curriculum during World War II. The film visits the campuses of Tuskegee University, Prairie View A&M University, Howard University, and Hampton University, showcasing how each college tailored its courses to the war effort, from providing military, industrial, and medical training to researching nutrition to producing war materials. The film also covers the specialized training female students receive to support the home front, such as learning about farm management and auto mechanics. Prairie View A&M University is a historically black university located in Prairie View, northwest of Houston, and a member of the Texas A&M University system. Founded in 1876, the university is the second oldest state-sponsored institution of higher education in Texas, and the first state college established specifically for African Americans. Please note that the film uses dated language to describe African Americans, indicative of the time in which it was produced. The Texas Archive of the Moving Image does not condone the use of the term “negro,” but presents this film as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as to claim this term never existed.