African American Military Wives and Servicewomen

Interviews conducted by Felicitas Rütten Jaima, New York University

Felicitas Rütten Jaima completed her undergraduate work in American Studies at Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität in Münster, Germany. She received her M.A. in African American History from Seton Hall University in 2009. Currently a Ph.D. student at New York University, she is studying the history of the African Diaspora under the supervision of Dr. Michael A. Gomez. Her research focuses on the experiences of African American military women and wives in post-World War II Germany.

The interviews featured on this site are part of an ongoing project and represent an integral part of her dissertation research. With her work she hopes to not only uncover these women’s everyday lives while in Germany, but also seeks to interrogate how race, gender, and class conditioned their experiences vis-à-vis white women and male GIs.

Josephine Adams
Josephine Adams was employed by the U.S. government as a civil personnel. She taught at a Department of Defense Dependents School in Ulm from 1964-1965.

…coming soon!


Gloria H. Brown

Gloria H. Brown was born in Plainfield, New Jersey in 1926. In 1954, she married Earl Brown who had joined the Air Force three years before. For thirty-one years, until her husband’s retirement in 1985, Mrs. Brown lived with her family on military bases around the world. Out of the total of eleven years she lived in Europe, she spent five in Germany.

Perrie Haymon
Perrie Haymon was born in Columbia, South Carolina. Together with her husband, Walter Haymon, Jr. who was a Supply Sergeant in the military, she moved to Germany in 1955, where she adopted her daughter one year later.

Eloise P. Walter
Eloise P. Walter was born in Valley Head, Alabama in 1933. She joined the Air Force at the age of eighteen. After she got married in 1952, she left the military to become a military wive. They spent three years in France and Germany, where she adopted her first daughter.

Publications:
“Peripheral Inconsistencies: Martha Stark and Afro-German Experiences during the Third Reich,” in Remapping Black Germany: New Perspectives on Afro-German History, Politics and Culture, Sara Lennox and Tobias Nagl, eds. (forthcoming, University of Massachusetts Press, 2011).

Contact information:
Felicitas Rütten Jaima, fr527[at]nyu.edu
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