This exhibit contains the transcripts of interviews with over sixty veterans of Montford Point, one African American nursing student who attended dances at the base, and one white officer. Many of the interviewees had waited literally their entire lives to be able to tell their stories, and the interview process proved to be both exhilarating and sobering for members of the interview team. The interviewees delivered powerful stories told with eloquence and dignity, with passion and pride. Their stories were the more poignant because the interviewees understood fully that they were in a race against time to record them and frequently expressed that thought.
Each of the interview segments is taken from a transcript created by a professional transcription service. The words on the screen are the words of the interviewee exactly as they appear in the transcript, with minor exceptions. To make the work more readable, such obvious vocal distractions as "um" and "ah"; stammers; and words used to begin responses such as "okay" and "well," but without significance to the meaning of the text have been removed. On a very few occasion, misspellings of place names which clearly resulted from the transcription process and which the reader might find confusing have been corrected. When an understanding of the text required the insertion of additional material, such material, never more than a few words, has been inserted in square brackets. The Montford Point veterans brought a wide range of social and educational backgrounds, experiences, and accomplishments to the interview sessions. To convey this diversity and to insure that the individuality of each interviewee was respected, in no case was grammar or syntax altered.
The words in these transcripts are powerful words, spoken by men who have endured much. They are words spoken with flashes of anger and humor, sometimes with sorrow, sometimes with great wisdom, always with a pride fostered by incredible accomplishment in the face of adversity. They are words to be heard, words to be pondered, words that hold deep meaning and significance for American society in the twenty-first century.