Our Men In Vietnam


In August of 1966, Sepia magazine initiated a monthly feature entitled "Our Men in Vietnam" (renamed mid-war to "Voices from Vietnam") that featured letters, stories, poetry, and photos from fighting African-American soldiers in Vietnam. The idea was to "salute our fighting men" and highlight their "experiences... heartaches [and] joys while fighting communism in Vietnam."

"Our Men in Vietnam" covered submitted materials from all military branches, duty assignments, ranks, and lengths and periods of service. A 1989 aritcle in Vietnam Generation by William King identified several major themes among the letters, including: 1) racism in the military; 2) the contradiction between fighting for the freedom of a people in a far off country when they themselves did not enjoy those same freedoms back home in the U.S.; 3) concern with domestic matters; 4) support for the anti-war protests and rise of Black Power; 5) questions about the war aims and strategic policies of the U.S.; 6) resentment from the Vietnamese people towards African-Americans in Vietnam; and 7) "matters of personal impact."

Over the course of the column's life (the last installment appeared in January 1973), it demonstrated a wide variety of first-hand commentary on the African-American experience in the Vietnam War.

Citation for the 1989 Vietnam Generation article by William King that provides a thorough overview of the "Our Men in Vietnam" feature in Sepia magazine.

List of letters from the 1968 issues of Sepia magazine.

List of letters from the 1969 issues of Sepia magazine.


Source: "Our Men in Viet Nam." Sepia. November 1968. Source: "Our Men in Viet Nam." Sepia. November 1968.
"Attention GIs - Veterans of Viet Nam, do you have a story to tell? Sepia would like to hear of your experiences, your heartaches, your joys while fighting communism in Viet Nam. SEPIA wants to salute our fighting men. Write us today - tell us your story. And send along a photo, please." — Sepia Magazine, 1966-1973
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Kief Schladweiler
Librarian, NYC

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