Adult Program - The Black Experience at Grenier

Tuesday, February 277:00—8:30 PMMain FloorBillerica Public Library15 Concord Road, Billerica, MA, 01821

In honor of Black History Month, please join us for a presentation on the lives of Black soldiers stationed at Grenier Air Base (now Manchester-Boston Regional Airport) during World War II, when the service was segregated by race. Includes an overview of Black military service in N.H. from Revolutionary through the Civil War and into the 20th century, with a focus on the first-person narratives of soldiers stationed at Grenier.

Through their own words in The Beacon, a newspaper that circulated on the base during the 1940s, you’ll learn about life in ‘the Village,’ a barracks where Black soldiers were billeted. You’ll learn about Marva Louis, the wife of acclaimed boxer Joe Louis, and her visit to the Air Field, as well as the words of USO workers. You’ll also hear about the exceptional 366th Infantry Regiment, once stationed in Manchester, which included Black officers in its leadership and fought bravely in combat in Italy during WWII.

About the presenter: Leah Dearborn was appointed assistant director of the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire in June, 2021. She holds a B.A. in Journalism from UMass Amherst, and an M.A. in International Relations from UMass Boston's McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, with a focus on diplomatic history. She also earned a certificate in Modern Media from Yale University in 2017. Leah's professional background includes work in newspaper reporting and editing, in financial services, and museum operations and development.

This Program is generously sponsored by the Family Friends of the Billerica Public Library.

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