African-American Soldier: Form Crispus Attucks to Colin Powell

African-American Soldier: Form Crispus Attucks to Colin Powell

by Michael Lee Lanning
     
 
y history of the United States, "The African-American Soldier" portrays the struggles of the courageous men and women who secured the right of black Americans to fight for their country--a country that provided them with nearly two centuries of discrimination. This account of the road to racial equality in the military tracks progress and setbacks as well as dramatic

Overview

y history of the United States, "The African-American Soldier" portrays the struggles of the courageous men and women who secured the right of black Americans to fight for their country--a country that provided them with nearly two centuries of discrimination. This account of the road to racial equality in the military tracks progress and setbacks as well as dramatic firsts for African Americans. Photos.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This 10th military history by retired army officer Lanning (The Military 100, etc.) offers a basic introduction to the legacy of black men and women in our nation's armed forces from the American Revolution through the Persian Gulf. Along the way, Lanning introduces a variety of black heroesmen such as Sergeant William H. Carney of the 54th Massachusetts, who saved his unit's flags after the failed assault on Fort Wagner during the Civil War (popularized in the movie Glory) and Dorie Miller, a crewman on the USS West Virginia who saved the life of his captain and shot down two Japanese planes during the raid on Pearl Harbor. Lanning also chronicles the extreme prejudice that black soldiers encountered for much of the past 200-plus yearsseparate (and worse) facilities, community hatred, lynchings, lack of promotions to better duty slots and more. He covers the 1906 Brownsville racial clashsparked by the open hostility of white Texans against black soldiers, but resulting in the dishonorable discharges of 167 black soldiersas well as the views of Generals George S. Patton and Douglas MacArthur, both of whom looked down on black troops. Ultimately, blacks achieved integration into the American military earlier than into most of the country's institutions. In his illuminating and much-needed history, Lanning graphically depicts the hard struggle toward that goal, and beyond it. Illustrations not seen by PW. (June)
Kirkus Reviews
A survey of the attempts by African-Americans to serve their country in an often reluctant military

Lt. Col. (Ret.) Lanning (Vietnam at the Movies, 1995, etc.) traces the major contributions of black soldiers and sailors, beginning with the 5,000 who served in the Revolutionary War and carrying the narrative forward to their successors in Desert Storm. He notes that blacks sailed with John Paul Jones and fought in the war of 1812. When the Civil War started, Lincoln didn't recruit black soldiers because he feared it would drive slave-holding border states into the Confederacy. The first black regiment was formed in the free state of Kansas in 1862 to fight the feared Confederate guerilla chief Quantrill. In all, some 200,000 blacks served in Union armies, such as the gallant 54th and 55th Massachusetts black regiments, despite the special danger they faced (many expected that, if captured, they would be enslaved or executed). Thirty-eight thousand died. Several received the Medal of Honor. African-Americans served alongside the Rough Riders at San Juan Hill. In the navy, African-Americans were limited to serving as laborers, cooks, and mess attendants until Franklin Roosevelt forced the service to allow black sailors to try to obtain all ratings. On July 26, 1948, President Truman ended segregation in the armed services by executive order. Despite slow progress, racial prejudices and clashes still occurred, especially when black troops were transferred to southern camps. Lanning believes that, following many years of struggle and the pivotal experience of Vietnam, the army is now the most integrated institution in the US.

A vivid history revealing the extraordinary bravery and crucial roles of blacks in the American military.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780806520490
Publisher:
Kensington
Publication date:
01/28/1999
Edition description:
1 CAROL PU
Pages:
1
Product dimensions:
5.96(w) x 8.95(h) x 0.81(d)

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