“Negroes’ Number One Hero”: Doris Miller, Pearl Harbor, and Retroactive Multiculturalism in World War II Remembrance

  title={“Negroes’ Number One Hero”: Doris Miller, Pearl Harbor, and Retroactive Multiculturalism in World War II Remembrance},
  author={Robert Chester},
  journal={American Quarterly},
  pages={31 - 61}
  • R. Chester
  • Published 2013
  • Sociology
  • American Quarterly
This essay examines wartime and postwar representations of African American Pearl Harbor hero Doris Miller and offers a theoretical framework by which to understand the place of race in cultural memory of World War II. Tracing the changing meanings attached to remembering (and forgetting) Miller in the “official” discourse of the US Navy and in African American culture, I argue that, notably after the early-1970s dissolution of the draft, the navy and the state recalled the black hero only in… Expand
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