Rockford's Memorial Hall kicks off Black History Month by hosting some U.S. Marines, who in a sense, had to fight their country, to fight for their country.
In 1942 President Roosevelt gave an executive order allowing African Americans to be recruited. Approximately 20,000 received basic training at Montford Point between 1942 and 1949. These men trained for WWII and were part of the first group of African-American marines in the history of the Marine Corps.
One of the Montford Point Marines, Stanley Porter, describes the barrier they tore down as "sweet hell."
"It was a bitter, joyous experience. I think many of us, we'd go back over if we had to do it and we know we had to break the shackles that were burdened for most of us as African Americans at that time."
6 of those Marines, from the Chicago Chapter, will be at Veterans Memorial Hall from 1p.m. to 4:30p.m. February 2nd. It only costs $5 to learn a little about history, from people who actually lived it.
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