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Black History Month in 2021 comes after a
year that brought new focus on racism and inequality in America. As we work toward a future that honors the
dignity of all people, the Museum finds lessons and inspiration in the
past. Read below about the courageous actions of Black people during World
War II, as well as reminders from a civil rights icon and a Holocaust
survivor about the importance of countering hatred in our own lives.
Photos: The late Georgia Congressman John Lewis,
photographed in 2016 when he received the Elie Wiesel Award, the Museum’s
highest honor. USHMM;
Holocaust survivor and Museum volunteer Martin Weiss. USHMM; Portrait of
Josephine Baker, 1949. Library
of Congress; American John Woodruff receives a gold medal at
the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Bundesarchiv
G00628; American Warren Capers was recommended for a Silver
Star for his actions during the Allied invasion of France. National Archives; A
slide of a biracial girl among her white classmates used by Dr. B. K.
Schultz at the State Academy for Race and Health in Dresden, Germany, in
1936. Library of
Congress; Wedding portrait of Hinda Chilewicz and Welek
Luksenburg in the Weiden displaced persons camp, 1947. USHMM, courtesy of William and
Helen Luksenburg; A Black soldier with the 12th Armored
Division, Seventh US Army, stands guard over a group of German soldiers
captured in the forest in April 1945. National