Posted on 08/02/2012

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Women's History Women's History


African American Woman
Vintage Uniform
Anna Mac Clarke
Kentucky Native
Fought hard for equality in the US Military
She became the first black Women's Army Corps officer t

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Anna Mac Clarke

Anna Mac Clarke
Anna Mac Clarke (1919 - 1944), didn’t put up with second-class treatment from anybody, including the U.S. Army. By insisting on fair treatment and becoming the first black Woman’s Army Corps officer to command an all white unit, the young Kentucky native struck a powerful blow for racial equality in the military.

Born and raised in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, Clarke graduated from Kentucky State College (now University) in Frankfort in 1941 with a degree in sociology and economics. Back home in Lawrenceburg, her degree was useless, as only domestic jobs were available. She left for New York and after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps.

Clarke reported to Ft. Des Moines, Iowa for officer training. She was the only black graduate in her class. Arriving for duty at Douglas Army Airfield in Arizona, Clarke made history by assuming command of an all white unit.

And she made national news after her protest against segregated seating in the base theater convinced the commanding officer to ban segregation on the base. A month later Anna Mac Clarke died of a ruptured appendix. She was only 24, but in her short life she made a difference.

Bio: WNKY.Net
Image: KY Hist Society

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