Black History Month – African Americans in Times of War

2018’s Black History Month theme is African Americans in Times of War, a topic that is often overlooked when learning about our country’s history.  We’re sharing some books and other resources that can help you learn more about this important topic.

The National Archives have a list of resources on Blacks in the Military here:

NYU professor and journalist Yvonne Latty spoke to Time at the end of January about why she thinks African American contributions to war efforts are often overlooked in this article:

‘We Can Be a Better Country If We Know These Stories.’ The Complicated History of African Americans in the Military

Making Gay History has an episode featuring the story of Perry Watkins.  “…openly gay nineteen-year-old Perry had every reason to believe he’d never serve—not because he objected to serving his country, but because the U.S. military barred homosexuals. But the Army took him anyway. Then after fifteen years of exemplary service, they threw him out. The reason? Because he was gay.

Perry didn’t just walk away with his tail between his legs. With the help of the ACLU, he fought his case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and after an eight-year battle won reinstatement—one of the first to do so.”

You can hear his story in his own words here:

We’ve also compiled a list of 25 books you can check out from the library on the topic.  The list is mostly nonfiction and includes something for all ages.

  1. American Patriots : The Story Of Blacks In The Military From The Revolution To Desert Storm by Gail Buckley
  2. American Uprising : The Untold Story Of America’s Largest Slave Revolt by Daniel Rasmussen
  3. The Black Panthers : a story of race, war, and courage : the 761st Tank Battalion in World War II by Gina M. DiNicolo
  4. Black Patriots And Loyalists : Fighting For Emancipation In The War For Independence by Alan Gilbert
  5. Buffalo Soldiers : The Story Of Emanuel Stance by Robert H. Miller ; Illustrated by Michael Bryant
  6. Come All You Brave Soldiers : Blacks In The Revolutionary War by Clinton Cox
  7. Courage Has No Color : The True Story Of The Triple Nickles : America’s First Black Paratroopers by Tanya Lee Stone
  8. The Double V : How Wars, Protest, And Harry Truman Desegregated America’s Military by Rawn James, Jr
  9. Fighting For America : Black Soldiers–The Unsung Heroes Of World War II by Christopher Paul Moore
  10. Firebrand Of Liberty : The Story Of Two Black Regiments That Changed The Course Of The Civil War by Stephen V. Ash
  11. Forgotten : The Untold Story Of D-Day’s Black Heroes, At Home And At War by Linda Hervieux
  12. The Forgotten Heroes : The Story Of The Buffalo Soldiers by Clinton Cox
  13. Freedom’s Journey : African American Voices Of The Civil War edited by Donald Yacovone
  14. The Harlem Hellfighters by Max Brooks ; Illustrated by Caanan White
  15. Harlem Hellfighters by J. Patrick Lewis & Gary Kelley
  16. Harriet Tubman, Secret Agent : How Daring Slaves And Free Blacks Spied For The Union During The Civil War by Thomas B. Allen ; Featuring Illustrations by Carla Bauer
  17. Invasion by Walter Dean Myers
  18. Like Men Of War : Black Troops In The Civil War, 1862-1865 by Noah Andre Trudeau
  19. Lost Battalions : The Great War And The Crisis Of American Nationality by Richard Slotkin
  20. Miracle At St. Anna by James Mcbride
  21. Race And Reunion : The Civil War In American Memory by David W. Blight
  22. The Reaper : Autobiography Of One Of The Deadliest Special Ops Snipers by Nicholas Irving With Gary Brozek
  23. Segregated Skies : All-Black Combat Squadrons Of WW II by Stanley Sandler
  24. Till Victory Is Won : Black Soldiers In The Civil War by Zak Mettger
  25. We Were There: Voices Of African American Veterans, From World War II To The War In Iraq compiled by Yvonne Latty ; With Photographs by Ron Tarver


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