119th Street Panoramic Scene


The picture above was taken in 1942 on 119th Street, between Lenox and 7th (now Malcolm X Blvd and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd). The context:"In February 1942, a letter to the editor of the Pittsburgh "Courier," the nation's largest black owned newspaper, started the "Double V" (for victory at home and victory abroad) campaign, which stressed the right of blacks to have equality in the United States since they were fighting inequality abroad.
Shortly after America’s entrance in to World War II, The Pittsburgh Courier launched "The Double V Campaign" (Double V). Under the theme of "Democracy: Victory at Home, Victory Abroad" The Courier remained patriotic, yet pushed for civil rights for blacks. It was very important that the campaign show loyalty towards the war effort, since the black press had been criticized for pushing their own agenda ahead of the national agenda. This campaign was initially a roaring success. This was the most important part of The Courier during the war.The campaign was created by James G. Thompson, of Wichita, KS. In a January 31, 1942 letter to the editor, titled, "Should I Sacrifice To Live ‘Half American?’" Thompson urged that such a campaign would set apart the confusion of a black American at the time. Formally debuting February 7, 1942, Double V, appeared only as the insignia; DEMOCRACY on top of two

 interlocking "V’s" with a crest that included "Double Victory" and AT HOME - ABROAD at the bottom of the logo. 


A scene linking a panorama taken from the meridian of Malcolm X Blvd, between 119th and 120th Street, and a panorama (SW) on 119th, between Malcolm X and Adam Clayton Powell. A modern day version of the historic 1942 picture above is visible in the latter pan.


6th grader Chris' house is visible in one of the panoramas. Here he tells of memories he has of the scene.

 According to my pal Steve Schwartz, Bette Milder owns a small white modern structure housing a gallery that is next to Chris' building.