Women of the Post

Written by Joshunda Sanders
Review by Valerie Adolph

In 1944, young Black women are recruited to join the Women’s Army Corps, offering them a chance to serve their country in the Second World War. This novel follows the lives of women who answer this call and are assigned to clear a backlog of over a million pieces of mail sent from military personnel to their families. Understanding the importance of these letters to loved ones, they become dedicated to their task and accomplish a great deal.

The novel is told through the perspectives of three women – Charity, the officer in charge of the group; Judy, who comes from poverty in New York City; and Mary Alyce, raised by a white mother as a white girl until, on enlisting, the letter “C” is found on her birth certificate. This indicates that her father was “colored,” and she is therefore compelled to join a Negro battalion.

The author’s purpose in writing this novel was to bring attention to the contribution of Black women during WWII. She achieves her purpose significantly, leaving the reader in no doubt about Charity’s strong organizational and interpersonal skills and the focus and dedication of the women of the 6888th Battalion.

In addition to detailing the attitudes of the time to people of color, as well as difficult working conditions and wartime dangers, the author maintains interest with subplots. Both Charity and Judy have significant romantic and emotional issues, while Mary Alyce struggles to find her place as someone who appears to be white but must adapt to life as a Black woman. This novel reveals important aspects of WWII and the role of the women of the 6888th Battalion as they accomplish a mammoth and significant task against the societal pressures of the time.