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African Americans in Times of War

(Librarian Selected)

Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion
by Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem; Walton, Anthony

9780385503389Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; Anthony WaltonBrothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII's Forgotten HeroesA powerful wartime saga in the bestselling tradition ofFlags of Our Fathers, BROTHERS IN ARMS recounts the extraordinary story of the 761st "Black Panthers," the first all-black armored unit to see combat in World War II. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar first learned about the battalion from family friend Leonard "Smitty" Smith, a veteran of the battalion. Working with acclaimed writer Anthony Walton, Abdul-Jabbar interviewed the surviving members of the battalion and their descendants to weave together a page-turning narrative based on their memories and stories, from basic training through the horrors on the battlefield to their postwar experiences in a racially divided America. Trained essentially as a public relations gesture to maintain the support of the black community for the war, the battalion was never intended to see battle. In fact, General Patton originally opposed their deployment, claiming African Americans couldn't think quickly enough to operate tanks in combat conditions. But the Allies were so desperate for trained tank personnel in the summer of 1944, following heavy casualties in the fields of France, that the battalion was called up. While most combat troops fought on the front for a week or two before being rotated back, the men of the 761st served for more than six months, fighting heroically under Patton's Third Army at the Battle of the Bulge and in the Allies' final drive across France and Germany. Despite a casualty rate that approached 50 percent and an extreme shortage of personnel and equipment, the 761st would ultimately help liberate some thirty towns and villages, as well as the Gunskirchen Lager concentration camp. The racism that shadowed them during the war and the prejudice they faced upon their return home is an indelible part of their story. What shines through most of all, however, are the lasting bonds that united them as soldiers and brothers, the bravery they exhibited on the battlefield, and the quiet dignity and patriotism that defined their lives. - Description from Syndetics

Integrating the US military
by Bristol, Douglas Walter; Stur, Heather Marie

9781421422473Douglas W. Bristol (Editor); Heather Marie Stur (Editor)Integrating the US Military: Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation since World War IIOne of the great ironies of American history since World War II is that the military--typically a conservative institution--has often been at the forefront of civil rights. In the 1940s, the 1970s, and the early 2000s, military integration and promotion policies were in many ways more progressive than similar efforts in the civilian world. Today, the military is one of the best ways for people from marginalized groups to succeed based solely on job performance. Integrating the US Military traces the experiences of African Americans, Japanese Americans, women, and gay men and lesbians in the armed forces since World War II. By examining controversies from racial integration to the dismantling of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" to the recent repeal of the ban on women in combat, these essays show that the military is an important institution in which social change is confirmed and, occasionally, accelerated. Remarkably, the challenges launched against the racial, gender, and sexual status quo in the postwar years have also broadly transformed overarching ideas about power, citizenship, and America's role in the world. The first comparative study of legally marginalized groups within the armed services, Integrating the US Military is a unique look at the history of military integration in theory and in practice. The book underscores the complicated struggle that accompanied integration and sheds new light on a broad range of comparable issues that affect civilian society, including affirmative action, marriage laws, and sexual harassment. - Description from Syndetics

Blood for Dignity: The Story of the First Integrated Combat Unit in the U.S. Army
by Colley, David

9780312300357David P. ColleyBlood for Dignity: The Story of the First Integrated Combat Unit in the U. S. ArmyMeticulously researched and wonderfully suspenseful, Blood for Dignity is the tale of a fascinating and little-known piece of World War II American history, seen through the eyes of 5th Platoon, K Company, 394th Regiment, 99th Division&mdashthe first black unit integrated with a white infantry company since the Revolutionary War. David P. Colley paints an absorbing, combat-heavy portrait of these African American and white men fighting together for their country--an historical event whose resonance would be felt for generations, and whose lesson would be transposed onto American society, shattering myths and destroying assumptions that had haunted blacks for years. The integration of African American platoons with white combat units at the tail end of World War II almost didn't happen. With the pressing need for more troops and the vision of men such as Dwight Eisenhower, black soldiers who only wanted to fight for their country were finally given the opportunity in March of 1945. The performance of these soldiers laid to rest the accepted white attitude of a century and a half that African Americans were cowardly and inferior fighters. In fact, they proved to be just the opposite. From basic training in the deep south, to hard labor in Europe, these men traveled a long and difficult road before they could take up arms for their country. The 5th of K finally saw combat at the Remagen Bridgehead as they fought side-by-side with white soldiers, driving back a dangerous German army in 1945. Thanks to in-depth interviews with many of those who fought in and alongside the 5th of K, author David P. Colley mixes the horrors of war with the intensely personal in a way that brings us closer to the brave men of this Platoon--a group of soldiers whom readers will come to know and admire and not soon forget. - Description from Syndetics

Hidden Heroism: Black Soldiers in America's Wars
by Edgerton, Robert B

9780813338583Robert B. EdgertonHidden Heroism: Black Soldiers in America's WarsIn Hidden Heroism , Robert Edgerton investigates the history of Afro-American participation in American wars, from the French and Indian War to the present. He argues that blacks in American society have long-suffered from a "natural coward" stereotype that is implicit in the racism propagated from America's earliest days, and often intensified as blacks slowly received freedom in American society. For instance, blacks served admirably in various wars, returned home after their service to short-term recongnition, and then soon found themselves even more seriously entrenched in a racist system because they were perceived as a threat to whites. This was true, Edgerton argues, until the Civil Rights movement and Vietnam, though the stereotypes have not been fully eradicated. In this book, Edgerton provides an accessible and well-informed tour through this little-known, but significant aspect of race in American military history. - Description from Syndetics

The Black infantry in the West, 1869-1891
by Fowler, Arlen L

9780806128832Arlen L. Fowler; William H. Leckie (Foreword by)The Black Infantry in the West, 1869-1891After nearly 200,000 African-American soldiers fought in the Civil War, Congress enacted legislation to authorize regiments of cavalry and infantry for service in the West. The Ninth and Tenth cavalries won fame as "buffalo soldiers" in the Indian wars, nearly overshadowing the critical support role of the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth infantries. Now Arlen L. Fowler brings to light the story of African-American infantry service from 1869 to 1891 in Texas, Indian Territory, the Dakotas, Montana, and Arizona. At first the infantry?s primary role was to escort trains and stagecoaches build roads and telegraph lines, and guard supply lines, with only an occasional battle against raiding Indians and outlaws. - Description from Syndetics

We Were There: Voices of African American Veterans from World War II to Iraq
by Latty, Yvonne; Tarver, Ron

9780060751593Yvonne Latty; Ron TarverWe Were There: Voices of African American Veterans, from World War II to the War in IraqThe Greatest Generation meets Bloods in this revealing oral history of the unrecognized contributions of African American veterans. Award-winning journalist Yvonne Latty never bothered to find out the extent of her father's service until it was almost too late. Inspired by his moving story -- and eager to uncover the little-known stories of other black veterans, from those who served in the Second World War to the War in Iraq -- Latty set about interviewing veterans of every stripe: men and women; army, navy, and air force personnel; prisoners of war; and brigadier generals. In a book that has sparked discussions in homes, schools, and churches across America, Latty, along with acclaimed photographer Ron Tarver, captures not only what was unique about the experiences of more than two dozen veterans but also why it is important for these stories to be recorded. Whether it's the story of a black medic on Omaha Beach or a nurse who ferried wounded soldiers by heli-copter to medical centers throughout Asia during the Vietnam War, We Were There is a must-have for every black home, military enthusiast, and American patriot. - Description from Syndetics

Devotion: An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship, and Sacrifice
by Makos, Adam

9780804176583Adam MakosDevotion: An Epic Story of Heroism, Brotherhood, and SacrificeFor readers of Unbroken comes an unforgettable tale of courage from America's "forgotten war" in Korea, by the New York Times bestselling author of A Higher Call. Devotion tells the inspirational story of the U.S. Navy's most famous aviator duo, Lieutenant Tom Hudner and Ensign Jesse Brown, and the Marines they fought to defend. A white New Englander from the country-club scene, Tom passed up Harvard to fly fighters for his country. An African American sharecropper's son from Mississippi, Jesse became the navy's first black carrier pilot, defending a nation that wouldn't even serve him in a bar. While much of America remained divided by segregation, Jesse and Tom joined forces as wingmen in Fighter Squadron 32. Adam Makos takes us into the cockpit as these bold young aviators cut their teeth at the world's most dangerous job--landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier--a line of work that Jesse's young wife, Daisy, struggles to accept. Deployed to the Mediterranean, Tom and Jesse meet the Fleet Marines, boys like PFC "Red" Parkinson, a farm kid from the Catskills. In between war games in the sun, the young men revel on the Riviera, partying with millionaires and even befriending the Hollywood starlet Elizabeth Taylor. Then comes the war no one expected, in faraway Korea. Devotion takes us soaring overhead with Tom and Jesse, and into the foxholes with Red and the Marines as they battle a North Korean invasion. As the fury of the fighting escalates and the Marines are cornered at the Chosin Reservoir, Tom and Jesse fly, guns blazing, to try and save them. When one of the duo is shot down behind enemy lines and pinned in his burning plane, the other faces an unthinkable choice: watch his friend die or attempt history's most audacious one-man rescue mission. A tug-at-the-heartstrings tale of bravery and selflessness, Devotion asks: How far would you go to save a friend? Praise for Devotion "Riveting . . . a meticulously researched and moving account." -- USA Today "An inspiring tale . . . portrayed by Makos in sharp, fact-filled prose and with strong reporting." -- Los Angeles Times "[A] must-read." -- New York Post "Stirring." -- Parade "A masterful storyteller . . . [Makos brings] Devotion to life with amazing vividness. . . . [It] reads like a dream. The perfectly paced story cruises along in the fast lane--when you're finished, you'll want to start all over again." --Associated Press "A delight to read . . . Devotion is a story you will not forget." -- The Washington Times "My great respect for Tom Hudner knows no bounds. He is a true hero; and in reading this book, you will understand why I feel that way." --President George H. W. Bush "This is aerial drama at its best--fast, powerful, and moving." --Erik Larson, New York Times bestselling author of Dead Wake "Though it concerns a famously cold battle in the Korean War, make no mistake: Devotion will warm your heart." --Hampton Sides, New York Times bestselling author of Ghost Soldiers and In the Kingdom of Ice "At last, the Korean War has its epic, a story that will stay with you long after you close this book." --Eric Blehm, New York Times bestselling author of Fearless and Legend - Description from Syndetics

Fighting for America: Black Soldiers
by Moore, Christopher Paul

9780345459602Christopher Paul MooreFighting for America: Black Soldiers - The Unsung Heroes of World War II"The African-American contribution to winning World War II has never been celebrated as profoundly as in Fighting for America. In this inspirational tribute, the essential part played by black servicemen and servicewomen in that cataclysmic conflict is brought home to twenty-first-century readers." "Here are letters, photographs, oral histories, and rare documents, collected by historian Christopher Paul Moore, himself the son of two black WWII veterans. Interweaving his family history with that of his people and nation, Moore has created an unforgettable tapestry of sacrifice, fortitude, and courage."--BOOK JACKET. - Description from Syndetics

Like Men of War: Black Troops in the Civil War
by Trudeau, Noah Andre

9780316853255Noah Andre TrudeauLike Men of War: Black Troops in the Civil War, 1862-1865In this unprecedented work of history, now in paperback, one of America's leading Civil War historians draws from nineteenth-century newspapers, letter, & soldiers' diaries to recreate the experiences of African-American troops in the Civil War. The authors richly textured narrative immerses us, battle by battle, in stories of the more than 175,000 black soldiers whose contributions have long been ignored or forgotten. More than a military history, Like Men of War is the stirring saga of people whose answer to slavery was a fierce determination to claim their full rights as citizens by force of arms. - Description from Syndetics

The African American Experience in Vietnam
by Westheider, James E

9780742545311James E. WestheiderThe African American Experience in Vietnam: Brothers in ArmsIn this book James E. Westheider explores the social and professional paradoxes facing African-American soldiers in Vietnam. Service in the military started as a demonstration of the merits of integration as blacks competed with whites on a near equal basis for the first time. Military service, especially service in Vietnam, helped shape modern black culture and fostered a sense of black solidarity in the Armed Forces. But as the war progressed, racial violence became a major problem for the Armed Forces as they failed to keep pace with the sweeping changes in civilian society. Despite the boasts of the Department of Defense, personal and institutional racism remained endemic to the system. Westheider tells this story expertly and accessibly by providing the history and background of African American participation in the U.S. Armed Forces then following all the way through to the experience of African Americans returning home from the Vietnam war. - Description from Syndetics

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