USM professor becomes fifth recipient of Blount professorship

Pine Belt News

Dr. Douglas Bristol, Jr. (Courtesy: University of Southern Mississippi)

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Gulf Park Associate Professor of History Dr. Douglas Bristol, Jr., has become the fifth recipient of the Gen. Buford “Buff” Blount Professorship in Military History, which is supporting his research and writing of a new book on the incorporation of Black G.I.s throughout U.S. service forces during World War II. 

The Blount professorship is awarded biannually and funds research toward publication of a major study in the field of War and Society. At the end of their two-year term, the holder of the Blount Professorship presents a lecture or program based on findings of their research.

A Fellow of the Dale Center for the Study of War & Society at USM, Dr. Bristol is a historian of the African American experience, military history, and American workers. He has published two books: Knights of the Razor: Black Barbers in Slavery and Freedom (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009) and Integrating the U.S. Military: Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation since World War II (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017). He is a member of the Editorial Board for the Quarterly Journal of the Army War College, Parameters. In 2021, he was elected President of the Gulf South Historical Association.

“I’m very grateful to General and Mrs. Blount for their support of my research and writing through the Blount Professorship,” said Dr. Bristol. “My study of how Black GIs kept forces such as General Patton’s 3rd Army going as it raced towards Germany is directly relevant to General Blount’s military career. The reorganization of service forces during World War II let the U.S. fight swift, mobile warfare. These changes laid the groundwork for General Blount, during Operation Iraqi Freedom, to lead the 3rd Infantry Division on the fastest and longest offensive attack in the history of the United States Army, which ended with the capture of Baghdad.

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