Research Programs: Awards for Faculty

Period of Performance

7/1/2019 - 12/31/2019

Funding Totals

$25,200.00 (approved)
$25,200.00 (awarded)

Race, Gender, and African American Pin-up Girls during World War II

FAIN: HB-257679-18

Charissa Joy Threat
Chapman University (Orange, CA 92866-1011)

Research and writing of a scholarly article about efforts to collect pin-up photographs of African American women and distribute them to African American soldiers during World War II.

Searching for Colored Pin-Up Girls explores the campaigns to collect images of African American women during World War II. It seeks to understand how African Americans experienced and understood the meaning and expectations of wartime service beyond the battle lines. The most simplistic interpretation of this pin-up campaign would be that women used their images to engage in a sort of "patriotic sexuality" but there is more to it than just providing soldiers with their "own beauties to admire." This project illuminates issues that include race relations, the obligations of citizenship and military service, and sexuality in the mid-twentieth century. The act of posing for pin-ups or participating in pin-up activities was about the politics of black manhood and respectability. It was about the black female body and black sexuality, and it spoke to and about the concerns and realities of race mixing during a war fought on behalf of freedom, equality, and social justice.

Associated Products

"Black Beauties: More than just pretty girls" (Blog Post)
Title: "Black Beauties: More than just pretty girls"
Author: Frances Agustin
Abstract: A blog on how Dr. Charissa Threat rediscovers the forgotten black female pin-ups of WWII.
Date: 02/21/2020
Primary URL:
Blog Title: "Black Beauties: More than just pretty girls" by Frances Agustin
Website: Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences