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October 18, 2018 at 12:38 pm

Alumni News | Goodwin’s NY Times Piece Inspires Prisoners of War Radio Documentary

Gerald Goodwin, portrait

Dr. Gerald Goodwin

A New York Times opinion piece headlined “Black and White in Vietnam” written by Ohio University alum Gerald Goodwin ’14Ph.D. has spawned a Prisoners of War radio documentary.

Goodwin, who earned a Ph.D. in History and a Certificate in Contemporary History from the College of Arts & Sciences at OHIO, teaches courses on U.S. history and world civilizations at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, N.Y.

Goodwin analyzes the experiences of African American soldiers during the Vietnam War and racial issues in the combat zone, research that he based on his 2014 doctoral dissertation, “Race in the Crucible of War: African American Soldiers and Race Relations in the ‘Nam” completed under Dr. Chester Pach, Associate Professor of History.

From Goodwin’s article, the producers of the award-winning “Radio Diaries” program took inspiration for an episode on Long Binh Jail – an American stockade outside Saigon for U.S. personnel who had broken military law – and the August 1968 riot that occurred there.

The episode, “Prisoners of War,” details how hundreds of black prisoners overwhelmed guards and set fire to parts of the facility and examines how racial tension contributed to the violence. It features recent interviews with participants in the riot, including former prisoners and guards. Goodwin consulted on the documentary, which also ran on the NPR news program All Things Considered.

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