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The Forgotten B-1 Band

Wednesday, Apr. 21, 7 p.m. via Zoom

Register here! This is an online program. Please enter your email correctly when registering. An email containing the Zoom link will be sent to all registrants an hour and a half before the program begins.

Presenter: Alex Albright, Author, Editor, Playwright, Professor

Celebrate the museum’s recent opening of its new military history gallery with this second installment of the Answering the Call: World War II Lecture Series. This month, Albright will speak about the US Navy’s almost forgotten B-1 Band. Comprised primarily of Black students attending Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, the regiment’s 45 members became the first African Americans to serve in the navy at a rank higher than cook or mess steward, making them frontline pioneers in breaking the navy’s color barriers at a time when racial unrest prevailed.

Albright started out thinking he would write fiction, but after earning his MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, he turned to nonfiction, confessing it “was a lot easier to sell than fiction, which seemed pretty danged hard to even give away.” Born in Burlington and raised in Graham, Albright earned degrees in journalism and English from UNC–Chapel Hill, as well as his MFA, then worked in public relations and as a bookseller before embarking on 38-year career in education. He also became founding editor of the North Carolina Literary Review in 1991 and is author of The Forgotten First: B-1 and the Integration of the Modern Navy.

Albright's book, The Forgotten First: B-1 and the Integration of the Modern Navy, is available at our Museum Shop.