Join us as historian, Regina Akers, talks about African American's efforts to integrate the U.S. Navy and to combat discrimination during World War II. 

Dr. Regina T. Akers is a member of the Public History and Education Section of the Histories Branch at Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington D.C.   She has earned a national reputation as a subject matter expert on diversity and personnel issues in the United States  military with an emphasis on women and African Americans in the Navy and served as the first chair of the command's Senior Historians Advisory Committee.  Dr. Akers earned her doctorate in United States History and Public History at Howard University, where she taught women's and public history as an adjust professor.   Her publications include The Navy's First Enlisted Women:  Patriotic Pioneers (Naval History and Heritage Command, 2019), book chapters, articles, encyclopedia entries, book reviews, and blogs.  She is a co-author for the Navy's forthcoming oral history guide.  She has presented at a myriad of symposia ranging from the Wilson Center to the National Archives, and she has given numerous media interviews.   She recently presented for the Society of Military History's annual symposium and the Washington State Historical Society's Veteran's Day program.  Her prestigious assignments include the African American Civil War Sailors Project, the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Force, and the advisory committee supporting a Congressional effort to establish a women's history museum on the National Mall.  She is also a key contributor to the Pentagon's African American Corridor Renovation Project, the African American Naval Academy graduates documentary, and the 50th Anniversary of the National Naval Officers Association.  She is a 2020 Forrest Pogue Award recipient for outstanding career achievements in oral history.   The Acting Secretary of the Navy and other senior naval leaders recognized her historical support for black history month presentations, the naming of the next Ford-Class aircraft carrier after Doris Miller, and the Navy's March 5, 2020 International Women's Day program.

This is a pre-recorded program on the NMUSN Facebook page.   If anyone has any problems accessing the museum's Facebook page, or if you have a question for the speaker, please send an email to

Regina T. Akers, Ph.D.