Exhibit spotlights stories of African American WWI soldiers from Virginia

There’s a new World War I exhibit in Fairfax, and it’s offering visitors an up-close experience with history.

The “True Sons of Freedom” traveling exhibition from the Library of Virginia is now on display at the Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center.

It commemorates Black soldiers from Virginia who served in World War I, fighting for freedoms they were denied at home.



“We thought folks in Fairfax, many of which have military service and history, would like to see a little bit about that history,” said Cami St. Germain, the museum’s historic research specialist. She says the exhibit showcases photos and documents of soldiers.

Sunday, visitors can speak with one of the exhibit’s creators. You’ll also get a chance to make a poppy, the World War I symbol of remembrance.

“If you have a list of veterans in your life you’d like to remember, you can put a poppy up on a memorial poppy wall,” St. Germain said.

The exhibit, featuring 24 framed photographs, is free and will be in Fairfax until Dec. 3. Then the exhibition will travel to Virginia Beach, where it will be at the Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library from Jan. 1 to Feb. 28.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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