The Vietnam Black Soldiers Portrait Project creates portrait photographs of Black Vietnam Veterans from a variety of different states and backgrounds. These portraits represent service members from over nineteen states who served their country in the 1950s, ’60s, and ‘70s. By teaching Americans about Black men and women who served and fought to secure rights for people living in South Vietnam, this project serves a profound and meaningful cause.
The project’s website lists its mission statement, which is “to educate Americans about the Black men and women in their community that served, suffered, and died, fighting for democracy and civil rights on behalf of the people in South Vietnam, even though they did not have the same rights themselves.” While some Black veterans have been recognized, others are being exposed to the public for the first time because of this project. Shining a spotlight on underrepresented stories is always important, especially during Black History Month.
One of the featured veterans on the project’s site is Medal of Honor recipient Clarence Sasser. Although originally drafted as a medic, Sasser was involved in multiple combat missions. His position as a medic made him a target in many situations, but despite that, Sasser risked his life to save his fellow soldiers when under attack from all angles. Sasser even refused medical treatment for himself at times so that he could continue assisting others. A true American hero, Sasser represents the many brave soldiers who have served to protect the rights of all Americans.
At Absolute News, we stand in solidarity with our strong veterans who served their country selflessly and heroically. Underrepresented groups must be given the credit and recognition they’ve earned and deserve. The individuals pictured here, in museum-quality, deserve endless praise for their selfless service.
When completed, these portraits will be put on display in a variety of locations including churches, museums, and schools for their communities to observe. Project director Johnny Crawford, who has regularly been commended for his visual storytelling abilities, hopes this project brings awareness to those photographed. Donations can be made to this great cause here.