Brooks Letters

Black intimacy served as one of the greatest assertions of and catalysts for freedom. The nation’s popular magazines represented Black families as less-than-human and absent of love.

Despite such popular renderings, letters to and from the home-front offered a different representation and revealed a more human story.  Billy and Lorraine, like millions of other African American citizens, dreamed, loved, and mattered to each other.  The exchange of letters ultimately established that Black soldiers mattered to those at home, and those at home mattered to the men and women who served their nation. Letters like those exchanged between Billy and Lorraine helped to maintain bonds and generate a love that compelled both soldier and family to fight for their freedoms and each other. 

Read the Brooks Letters

At left: Separated by WWII, Sergeant Billy Brooks and Lorraine Brooks wrote each other love letters that offer a glimpse into their interior life, desires, and aspirations.

Brooks Letters, MS. 0672, Box 2, Special Collections, The Johns Hopkins University