This 1943 “United We Win” poster was printed by the Government Printing Office for the War Manpower Commission. The poster depicts two factory workers in an integrated aircraft plant, working together to build a plane. The black and white photograph, taken by Alexander Liberman, is combined with a large American flag at top and the text “United We Win” in bold white letters at bottom.
The intent behind the “United We Win'' poster was to encourage all workers, regardless of race, to rise above their personal differences and work together to overcome the Axis powers. The dramatic scope of World War II called for a surge in American factory production. As more laborers were needed to fulfill these efforts, employers eased "the segregation policies that had previously kept African Americans out of many industrial workplaces. But as black workers poured into cities and factories they often met with resentment from white counterparts… Racial prejudice needed to be temporarily set aside to maximize production for the war effort”( Weapons, p. 25). Liberman’s photograph captures two actual employees, Louis Ward and Walter Shippe, working together at a Republic Aircraft Corporation plant.
The Government was very aware of the demoralizing effects of racial prejudice on the American population and its negative impact on the war effort. Consequently, it promoted posters, pamphlets, and films highlighting the participation and achievement of African Americans in military and civilian life. This 1943 government poster offers an image of racial solidarity among wartime workers under the slogan "United We Win."
An overwhelming majority of African Americans participated wholeheartedly in the fight against the Axis powers. “They did so, however, with an eye toward ending racial discrimination in American society. This objective was expressed in the call, initiated in the black press for the "Double V"- victory over fascism abroad and over racism at home” (National Archives).
The poster is in very good condition. Original lithograph. Printed color is strong. Paper is healthy, save light wear along fold lines from past storage. “OWI Photo by Libberman” printed at bottom left margin. “U.S. Government Printing Office” printed at bottom middle margin. “War Manpower Commission - Washington, D.C.” printed bottom right margin.The poster is archivally framed in a custom-built black and silver frame and UV plexiglas. Framed Dimensions: 43 1/2"H x 32"W x 1 1/2"D.