During World War II, the Double V campaign was a movement by African Americans demanding equal rights in exchange for the sacrifices they were making in the war. The Double V campaign represented two victories, one in the war and one against the inequality in the country.
The Double V Campaign was launched on Feb. 7, 1942, by The Pittsburgh Courier, one of the leading African American newspapers of the time. The inspiration for the campaign came from a letter featured in the previous week's edition, written by James Thompson from Wichita, Kan.
The Courier continued to run the campaign throughout the war, with each issue of the newspaper featuring Double V advertisements, letters, photographs, articles and related materials. The newspaper's sports writer used the campaign to draw attention to segregation in sports, while editorial columns did the same for other parts of society and the military. The Double V campaign was extremely popular among the African American community. In fact, the campaign inspired Double V songs, dances, beauty pageants, baseball games and even a hairstyle.
Although segregation didn't end until more than twenty years later, many scholars think the Double V played a major driving role in the later Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.