The film INVISIBLE WARRIORS: African American Women During WWII

For Black Women's Equal Pay Day we are featuring the film "INVISIBLE WARRIORS: African American Women During WWII". An interview with the filmmaker will take place live on Facebook on August 20th at 5:30 PM central and screenings of the film will be shown in four different cities on August 22nd to commemorate Black Women's Equal Pay Day. The INVISIBLE WARRIORS is a historical documentary featuring interviews with African American “Rosie the Riveters” who recount what life was really like during World War II. 

They fled lives as domestics and sharecroppers to empower themselves while working in war production and U.S. government offices.These patriotic pioneers share their wartime memories, recounting their battles against racism at home, Nazism abroad, and sexism everywhere.

They represent 600,000 women like themselves who overcame the Great Depression, Jim Crow, sexual degradation, and workplace discrimination to break gender and racial barriers.

The filmmaker and historian, Gregory Cooke explains how the film may leave its footprint in commemoration of Black Women's Equal Pay Day.

Courtesy of Gregory Cooke

    Claudia Espinel: How do you envision the conversation that Invisible Warrior can spark in companies about equity in the workplace for women of color? 

African American Women have always worked and contributed to our society even when our society didn’t contribute to them.  Historically, they have always been overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated.  Invisible Warriors: African American Women in World War II embodies these historic circumstances and the “Can Do” Spirit that they exercised to triumph over systemic adversity. However, unlike the vast majority of World War II-era African American Women who didn’t understand their historic contributions and collective strengths at the time, today’s Black women are “woke” to the realities of their collective strengths.  Contemporary African American Women must continue to organize and grow their economic, political and social “muscles” to carve out better lives for themselves and their communities.   African American Women of today have far greater resources than their fore-mothers, and they should expect nothing less than triumph and success as they move forward!

Claudia Espinel: On August 22, when we show the film, we hope to have women from different generations attending, including women who are just getting into the workforce: What would you like them to be reflecting about or start doing after watching the movie? 

I would like all Women, especially African American Women and those just entering the workforce, to understand that they stand on the sturdy, battle-tested shoulders of Women who battled and overcame entrenched racism and sexism to help America win World War II - the greatest event in human history.  These “invisible warriors”, their fore-mothers, demonstrated faith in their abilities, courage in their actions, and a belief in the righteousness of their cause to open doors of opportunity for their descendants. 

On August 20th, Sachi Christine Kobayashi, Founder of Lean In Los Angeles is sitting down for a live Q and A with filmmaker, Gregory Cooke to discuss his work. 

With a coalition led by Lean In Women of Color, Lean In networks, Lean In Illinois, Lean In Michigan, Latina Surge and Lean In St. Louis have come together to host prescreenings in their prospective cities on Black Women's Equal Pay Day.

RSVP for the Facebook Live event here.

Fine out if we are screening near you here.

Check out the trailer below.

Visit to learn more.