What Was the Double V Campaign?

The Double V Campaign was an effort during World War II that campaigned for full citizenship rights for African Americans fighting for the United States in the war. It was spearheaded by The Pittsburgh Courier, one of the most prominent African American newspapers of the time.

The Double V Campaign first appeared in The Courier on Feb. 7, 1942, and continued to be a weekly feature of the newspaper for more than a year. The main goals of the campaign were to increase knowledge about the many African Americans who were overseas fighting for their country and to petition for them to be given full citizenship rights when they finally returned home.

The Double V Campaign also sought to generate more support for the war among the African American community. Ira Lewis, the editor of The Courier, thought that by showing support and encouraging the black community to do all it could for the war effort, they could in turn help convince the U.S. government to do all it could to increase racial equality in the country.

The campaign featured many different articles, editorials and letters all specifically designed with these goals in mind. It quickly gained the support of numerous other African American newspapers and soon grew into a national effort. However, many say it was ultimately a failure because it wasn't until the 1960's that African Americans finally got full citizenship rights.