Yes, I selected a “rosey” exert. We know it wasn’t always so.
One of the initial bright spots of President Truman’s and the Navy’s efforts to move forward on race was illustrated in the April 1, 1950 edition of the Norfolk Journal and Guide.
“It’s Been Smooth Sailing Says Norfolk Base Wave” by Martha Hursey, who wrote about the first Black female sailor stationed at the base.
“For nearly six weeks, an attractive ex-Howard University student Clara Camille Carroll has been studying along with several other Waves.” The term (WAVE) was an acronym for “Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service” and was the World War II women’s branch of the United States Naval Reserve.
According to the article, Carroll’s presence and studying at the radio school at the Norfolk Naval Base went “practically unnoticed except by fellow service women. So complete was her interrogation that even ranking naval officers were unaware that the Naval Base was host to the first colored Wave who hails from Cleveland, Ohio.”
Immediately after she finished boot camp in Great Lakes, Carroll was enrolled in the radio school here. Upon completion of the course, she was slated to be stationed on one of the several naval bases in the country.
The article noted Carroll said she enjoyed the various activities on the base when she was not involved in training. “The seaman apprentice said she is singing on the chapel choir at Frazier Hall making frequent visits to the Hobby Shop, the 12 cents movies and learning the game of billiards.”
“She has a roommate, Peggy Good from Broadway, Virginia, and they are constant companions. She said that she joined the Waves because they appeared to have a fine reputation and she liked the uniforms.”
The article continued, “In the city of Norfolk, she has not met with any difficulties either. She has gone everywhere and done everything that her fellow service women have.”