PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new documentary screened in Philadelphia Sunday celebrated African-American women and their contributions during World War II. “Invisible Warriors” takes an in-depth look at the 600,000 African-American Rosie the Riveters.
Gregory Cooke believes we have a historical blind spot.
“The iconic image of Rosie the Riveter is of a white woman,” he said.
“Invisible Warriors: African American Women of World War II” is a documentary, directed by Cooke, that is the culmination of a nine-year journey to recognize those who served at home, including his late mother.
“They also made a serious contribution to American history and culture, and this is our way of saying thank you for jobs well done,” he said.
Mayor Jim Kenney gave gifts to the stars of the show who once worked the assembly lines and built aircraft.
“And that belt just kept rolling. So you took care of your personal business or what have you, and you still had to work,” Gwen Faison said.
She’ll turn 94 on Valentine’s Day, and said this film is important to educate those who have never learned, or forgotten the role African-American woman played in winning World War II.
“I noticed people do not read their history and they don’t really understand what went on. What you did as a younger person or as a person in another capacity,” Faison said.
Six Rosies were honored at the premiere.
“I’m Rosie Ruth the riveter!” Ruth Wilson said.
Including Wilson — chosen as the new Rosie — modeling the iconic image when she was 89 years old.
“It is important because people need to know what we did. And how important it was that we won it by doing the work that men did,”she said.
The documentary will be available by the end of the year.