THE DOUBLE V
Activism that altered the color of a nation
A stage play by Carole Eglash-Kosoff
This is a play about activism, a dramatization of true events. How a simple letter to a newspaper initiated a series of changes that gave black Americans their first taste of equality in a society that had always denigrated them. The Double V campaign, early in the years of World War II, campaigned for both Victory in the war and Victory in the battles for racial equality in the United States.
Early in 1942, a young Negro tries to enlist in the Army. He’s beaten and told that this is a ‘white man’s war’. It’s his first experience with racism. Frustrated, he write’s a letter to the Pittsburgh-Courier, one of the largest black newspapers in the country. “There shouldn’t be two Americas, one white and one black, Why should Negroes die for a country that treats them like 2d Class citizens?”
The country is gearing up for war but there are only 5,000 Negroes serving, most in units left over from the Civil War. The services are segregated. The paper picks up the Double V as a way to get coloreds into the war. They champion ‘Proportional Representation’…if there are 100 whites, there need to be 10 Negroes, since Negroes represent 10% of the population.
As the campaign progresses and our military continues to face heavy losses both in North Africa and the Pacific, the FBI enters the picture, demanding that the newspaper cease its campaign as being divisive. The paper is told the government needs a singular focus and the Double V campaign for racial equality detracts from that mission. Frustrations build, anger flares.
In late 1942 the government reverses its policy and opens both the Army and Navy to enlistments to all races. By the end of the war more than one million Negro men and women had been in uniform.
Epilogue: We tell the audience at the end of the play that these men and women came home from the war expecting some degree of racial equality for having given their lives in the service of their country. When it failed to appear, it led to sit-ins, freedom riders and the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement.
Reviews FOR THE DOUBLE V
“It needs to be seen” Eric A. Gordon – People’s World (click for full review)
“An excellent new play based on a true story that changed the course of history… Great talent on the stage & a beautifully designed one too” – Harrison Held – Discover Hollywood (click for full review)
“It’s a stunning piece of historical drama, with a lot of love and humor and its own victorious conclusion.” Samantha Simmonds – Ronceros NOHO Arts District
“Beautifully staged with exquisite set designs and ingenious direction, “The Double V” is a must-see play, full of excellent actors putting their hearts into every word and their souls into every scene. I cannot recommend this play enough…Bravo!!” – Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros – NOHO Arts District
“The Double V is a testament of how courageous African Americans had to be in order to fight, work tirelessly and risk their lives to be heard and taken seriously. If history threatens to repeat itself, God forbid, let the Double V be the shining example to follow when things get rough and hard.” – Mary E. Montoro http://www.allaboutthestage.com
“The play’s reach is far, and holds plenty of uplifting intentions. The war may become long over with as well as becoming victorious, but the efforts for racial equality has yet to be won. It’s another “V” to go!” – Rich Borowy Accessibly Live Offline
“We saw “The Double V”, and it was relevant, interesting and has superb acting. ….We highly recommend this thoughtful, well written performance.
The author, playwright Carole Eglash-Kosoff, pulled no punches in showing the sorry attitude of the people and the Leaders of the government from the top down in 1941, with the Negros getting screwed again, and not allowed to join the Army (etc.) and fight for our, and their country.”
Bruce C. YELP
“The Double V” is an absolutely amazing true story about our nation’s first black civil rights movement! I was very moved by this production.
Carole Eglash-Kosoff has written this production and an award is sure to follow. You must experience this and together we can overcome racism.” – Rick A – YELP