Library exhibits highlights Latino WWII veterans

A new exhibit at the Library on the Levelland campus of South Plains College honors Latino World War II veterans.

Looking for an exhibit that would fit in SPC’s open Library space, the employees reached out to Humanities Texas, picking “Images of Valor,” which features Latinos and Latinas who were involved in World War II.

Jessica Miesner, public services librarian at SPC, said their director, James Belcher, “was a war veteran, and this one was on top of his list as well because it’s important to him.”

Miesner added that Scott Buchanan, professor of history, and Christina Bearden-White, assistant professor of history, also picked the exhibit.

“I chose the exhibit on World War II veterans because I teach American history and wanted my students to be aware of the vast contribution of Latinos in the military,” said Bearden-White.

During the week, the exhibit is available for viewing during the Library’s regular business hours. Starting in December, their Monday-Wednesday hours will change, staying open until 10 p.m. They will also be open on Sundays until Dec. 12, which is the last day the Library will have “Images of Valor” available.

“Images of Valor” displays several important parts of the war, including  quotes from men and women who served during that time. Each panel has a different quote and holds a short explanation of why it was important. The exhibit displays Rural to Urban migration, women in the military, women on the home front as nurses, political representation, civil rights, citizenship-naturalizing after the war, language, patriotism and identity, military honors, and education-GI Bill of Rights. It ends with a panel about women who took over work for men during 1940 – 1945.

Miesner stated that “Images of Valor” was the first exhibit that they have offered through Humanities Texas.

“We didn’t really know what quite to expect until it showed up,” she explained, adding that “Images of Valor” was one of the more affordable so they decided to give it a try to see how it worked out.

The exhibit is made to be placed on a wall in a specific order. However, Miesner said, “we didn’t have a way to put it up on the wall.” So, they had to figure out how to put it up. Figuring out a way to display the exhibit on partitions, they were able to get it up before Veterans Day.

“We’re trying to start doing more exhibitions since we have the space,” Miesner said. “It gives community members and students more chances to come in. We will definitely be getting more from them in the future.”

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